In-form jockey Sam Clipperton earned his riding fee the hard way when partnering the Annabel Neasham-trained Numerian to a tough victory in the Gosford Gold Cup.
With Rachel King on Main Stage setting a slow speed in front, Clipperton had to work hard to keep Numerian relaxed at the flanks of the leader before a mid-race move from Chad Schofield on Pappalino injected some speed into the 2080m race.
“We’d go through stages of the race where he would relax and then latch on again,” Clipperton said.
“I’m sure if I’d raced ‘one-one’ he would have switched off, but he was just wanting to race a bit aggressive, which probably made his performance even better.
“When Chad put his horse into the race I just elected to wait. I knew my horse had done a bit (of work) within himself and I just wanted to balance him up, give him a chance to balance up and I actually got a nice cart up off Chad then.
“He got stronger and stronger down the running the further we went.”
Lumping top weight, Numerian posted his first victory since arriving in Australia last year but had put the writing on the wall with an improved last-start second to Polly Grey in the JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick.
Clipperton is confident he will extend to 2400m given the right run.
“He was probably the class horse in the race on paper, but he had to lug the class horse’s weight as well in 59-1/2 (kilos),” Clipperton said.
“He’s a lovely horse and I think with cover, he will race over 2400 quite well and well placed by Annabel today.”
Numerian ($5) had three-quarters of a length to spare over Great House ($3.60 fav) , who came off the bit when the field sprinted before regathering himself to mount a late bid, with Mirann ($21) another 1-1/4 lengths away.
The winner is likely to head to Queensland, as is Great House who was having his first start in five weeks.
Charlie Duckworth, representing Great House’s trainer Chris Waller, said the horse could now target the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in a fortnight.
“It looked a bit desperate on the turn but Great House kept going,” Duckworth said.
“(Jockey) Brenton (Avdulla) was very happy with the horse’s effort and it was a nice tick-over run into that race.”
– RAS NewsWire