Tim Clark has built a reputation as one of Sydney’s best jockeys on front runners and has demonstrated his talents again at Rosehill.
After riding Godolphin’s Enfleurage to an all-the-way win in Saturday’s Jack Ashman Handicap (1300m), Clark was at it again on Embracer in the Bill Waterhouse Handicap (1100m).
The Australian Turf Club acknowledged bookmakers by naming races after them and fittingly Embracer is prepared by the late Bill Waterhouse’s daughter-in-law Gai Waterhouse and her training partner Adrian Bott.
Sent out the $4.40 favourite, Embracer handled the heavy track easily to hold off Invictus Salute ($5.50) by half a length.
Clark does a lot of riding for the the Waterhouse-Bott stable, which is noted for its on-speed runners.
“I get to ride a few for Gai and Adrian so I get plenty of practice on leaders,” Clark said.
“I like it. You’ve got your own destiny in your hands. You are in control.”
The jockey’s biggest win using those tactics came aboard the Bjorn Baker-trained Samadoubt in the Group One Winx Stakes in spring.
Clark admitted to some concerns about the heavy conditions but said Embracer handled them well as a fit horse.
The track surface was also a concern for connections of imported mare Birth Of Venus but she handled the wet with aplomb in the Bookmaker Recognition Day Trophy (2000m).
Trained and part-owned by Chris Waller, Birth Of Venus came to Australia with a good record but had been unplaced on rain-affected tracks in Ireland twice.
“I was a bit worried about the track,” Waller said.
“But she is a good horse to have in the stable and it’s a privilege to train for the owners.
“A lot of the Irish owners stayed in her. She is a well-bred mare and I think she can win a Listed race.”
Birth Of Venus was ridden by Brenton Avdulla, who also rode the Gerald Ryan-trained Bandersnatch to victory in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1500m).
Bandersnatch was the $2.60 favourite but found the going tough and just lasted to beat Costello ($9.50) by a half-head.
Although happy to win, Ryan said he would have second thoughts about running Bandersnatch on a wet track again.