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Image: Steve Hart
Tim Clark has been cleared to ride and picked up the mount on Toni Nicconi for Lindsay Park

Tulloch Lodge is renowned for its bone and muscle style of horses who race on speed and prove hard to get past but steering them is not as easy as it might look.

Tim Clark, who has successfully ridden for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott over several years, enjoys the on-pace riding style but says knowing the horses is as important as judging the speed of the race.

“It can look easy at times but there’s a bit to it,” Clark said as he prepares to ride two-year-old Minted and Winter Cup favourite Hush Writer for Waterhouse and Bott at Rosehill on Saturday.

“You’ve got to judge the speed but you’ve got to know the horse too.

“Some of Gai and Adrian’s horses, yes they like to lead but they’ve got a good turn of foot as well so you don’t need to go too quick in the lead.

“Others are a bit more one-paced and you need to be really making it a strong gallop.

“It’s a fine line but I do enjoy riding the on-pacers.”

The jockey, who has been nursing an injured thumb, has been cleared to ride and picked up the mount on Toni Nicconi for Lindsay Park after his brother-in-law Josh Parr suffered a medial tear in his knee in a tumble at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

Clark regards Minted and Hush Writer as strong chances and says Hush Writer only needs to hold his form to give the Winter Cup (2400m) a shake after taking out the McKell Cup over the same course and distance at his first start in six months.

“Obviously to do that first-up he’s a horse with loads of talent and he just needs to repeat that performance to be hard to beat on Saturday,” Clark said.

“He’d had plenty of work so he probably couldn’t have improved a lot but he only has to hold his form, this race is no stronger.”

Minted, a $460,000 yearling, will take his place in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1100m) after scoring a midweek win over California Salto, who subsequently franked the form with a decisive Warwick Farm victory on Wednesday.

Clark would have preferred the colt was not dropping back 100 metres in distance but with Waterhouse and Bott keen to give Minted a spring campaign, Saturday’s race was the most logical short-term target.

“It’s probably not ideal coming back in trip but it’s the way the races fell,” Clark said.

“They want to give him a bit of a let-up before the spring because they think he’s up to that level and he’s still got enough class to overcome a few little things like the distance on Saturday.

“He’s always shown good ability and it was nice to see him put it together last start.”

Clark’s other rides include the Kim Waugh-trained Newsfan, who has to overcome a wide draw in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1100m), and the John O’Shea-trained import Berdibek who will appreciate a firmer surface when he backs up in the Handicap (1800m).

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