The deeds of Rich Charm through the spring carnival have turned trainer Udyta Clarke into a media star.
Last Monday the Cranbourne trainer was named the Victorian Racing Media Association’s personality of the year.
While Group Two winner Rich Charm enjoys a short break before the autumn, her ATM, It’s A Shame Billy, starts another campaign at Ballarat.
It’s A Shame Billy, a veteran of 46 starts for Clarke and fellow Rich Charm owner Don Allan, runs in Saturday’s Isuzu Ballarat Handicap with Patrick Moloney to ride.
Described by Clarke as a naughty boy when he was younger, It’s A Shame Billy is a bigger, stronger version than the horse who had a 14-start campaign before his most recent break.
“He’s got very fat in the last four or five months, but he’s very fit,” Clarke said.
“He’s now a lot heavier in his racing weight.
“He was not built like a sprinter before and neither is Rich Charm.
“They’re fine boned but Billy’s got very solid now, but very fit.
“As they mature they get heavier.”
It’s A Shame Billy may have won just five of his 46 starts but has a further 19 minor placings to his credit.
Clarke pointed out that It’s A Shame Billy had finished further back than sixth on only four occasions during his career.
“More than half the time he’s been to the races he’s finished in the first three,” Clarke said.
“He’s a very consistent horse as are most of my horses.
“I’m very proud of them and they are genuinely consistent but I call him my ATM machine.
“He tries so hard but often the races aren’t run to suit him.”
For that reason Clarke has elected to run It’s A Shame Billy on Saturday rather than at Kilmore on Sunday.
“It is an easier race at Kilmore but the bigger track at Ballarat suits him better,” Clarke said.