John Sargent saw the Clockwise Classic first hand when trying to win the Ballarat Cup with Luvaluva two years ago. He noted the strong prizemoney and also the opportunity the race offered for a young horse to book a place in richer Magic Millions races early in the new year that follows.
But he also saw something else.
“It seemed a race for those who know how to gallop that way as they seemed to go everywhere,” the Randwick-based trainer said.
Sargent will have his first runner in the race in the form of Readily Availabull, with the Magic Millions-qualified juveniles to run clockwise. It can make for a confusing time for a young horse and that’s where Sargent believes the race can be won or lost.
“He seems well seasoned that way (clockwise),” he said. “He trialed well (won at Rosehill) the other day and I asked Brenton Avdulla to go to the line with him so he knows what he’s doing so he’s ready for what’s ahead of him.
“He travels down tonight and Micky Dee rides him on Friday to get a feel of him and he should be ready to go.”
Sargent had to travel to find the horse, tracking him down in Tasmania, where he picked him up for $25,000 due partly to his sire.
“There’s a good Bull Point up here I’ve got called Encountabull, so I thought go down to Tasmania and get a Bull Point that might be under the odds. I got him for $25,000 so even a placing there on Saturday gets back his purchase price,” he said.
Sargent said the race also gives him a chance to reunite with rider Michael Dee, whose father Richard worked with him back in New Zealand.
“He was starting out then and his father trained with me and was a good trainer,” Sargent said of the relationship. “Michael Dee was a good showjumping rider as a boy. He’s a very good horseman and that’ll help on Saturday.”