Story courtesy www.racingnsw.com.au
By Matt Jones
Tim Clark has only ridden Oxford Poet once, but he’s confident the horse can record back-to-back Listed wins in the $150,000 Winter Challenge at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The Kim Waugh-trained five-year-old was impressive in holding off Zin Zan Eddie and Ninth Legion in the Winter Stakes (1400m) on July 16, but will have to carry 3kg more this time.
That was Clark’s only worry in a race where Oxford Poet has a lot going for him.
“He did a good job last start and controlled the race,” Clark said.
“He can relax well and he’s got a nice cruising speed so I just need to get him into a relaxed rhythm and he’ll kick well.
“It looks like he’ll lead again on Saturday and I’ll try and rate him similar to the other day but the query is the weight, that’s my only concern.”
Oxford Poet meets Zin Zan Eddie, Marenostro and Tales Of Grimm again along with first-up Godolphin pair Allergic and Alegria and Clark will ensure they have something to chase.
“He’s a bit one dimensional. He likes to roll along and use his good gate speed and tactical speed but he’ll be in the firing line again,” he said.
“If he can control the race to suit himself he should run it out strongly.”
It would probably be fair to call Oxford Poet a track specialist if he wins at Rosehill on Saturday.
It would be his fourth win from seven starts at the venue and his sixth career win from 23 races.
Clark said he was ready to win over 1500 metres for the first time. “It’s a nice flat track and Rosehill suits his style of racing for sure,” he said.
“I always thought it was a good possibility he’d improve off his last run and be peaking on Saturday. He’s one of my main chances on the day.”
The first of nine races at Rosehill Gardens jumps at 11.45am, with the Winter Challenge to start at 3.25pm.