It’s not Tim Clark’s problem to worry about which race Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott decide on for Cross Talk at Rosehill on Saturday – he’s confident the promising gelding can measure up to whatever challenge they select.
The lightly raced four-year-old was a gallant second behind Jojo Was A Man second-up over 1400m at Randwick three weeks ago and will either stay in the same class in the Fab Industrial Logistics Handicap (1800m) or benefit from a weight drop in the Vale Nick Moraitis Handicap (1500m).
He’s the third emergency in the latter race.
Clark said Cross Talk is all upside given he’s only had five starts and while he was beaten last start there was a gap to third and the winner has proven to the form.
“He’s a nice horse, he’s building a good record, he’s lightly raced and the form around him is really good,’’ he said.
“I still feel the best is ahead of him. He’s only a lightly framed type, so whether he changes in that regard I’m not sure but I think he still has some maturing to do.
“The future looks bright for him beyond whatever he does this season into his five-year-old season.”
Further merit to Cross Talk’s form came on Wednesday when Brimstone won on the Kensington track having been safely held by Clark’s mount at Canterbury back on May 25.
Clark said if the gelding rises to the 1800m ($3.30 favourite with TAB on Thursday) he sees no reason why he won’t relish the extra trip while there are obvious pluses to the 1500m option ($4), despite drawing the outside, where he’ll drop 4kg to 54kg which could be a plus if the rain arrives.
“I wouldn’t say the barriers would influence Gai and Adrian’s decision on which race he runs in, they don’t worry about barriers most of the time,’’ he said.
“It’s just whether he is looking to stretch out to 1800m now on what could potentially be a very wet track.
“I can see him getting out to that sort of trip and I don’t think it is going to pose too many problems.
“Once he gets up on speed and in a rhythm, bowling along in the longer races, he’s going to do it comfortably and still have a kick at the end.
“Or, though it is a harder race, in the 1500m he has that light weight and it could be more like a mile anyway.”
Unbeaten filly Shades Of Rose attempts to stretch her winning streak to four when she resumes in the Bisley Workwear Handicap (1100m) and Clark has been impressed with what he’s seen in her two trials.
He partnered the Bjorn Baker-trained three-year-old to her win at Canterbury in late February and said, a bit like Cross Talk, she is still a horse on the way up.
“She trialled really well the other day,’’ he said.
“She’s still an immature type and the best is still ahead of her as well. She’s going to run really well on Saturday with the trials under her belt.
“This is her hardest test so far but I feel she has the ability to measure up to a race like this. I think she can continue to rise in the benchmarks and has another few grades to get through before she reaches her mark.”
– Racing NSW