How do you top a 10,000-1 treble? Sam Clipperton will be out to repeat the dose on Saturday but will need to make the most of the early races if he is to go close in the Jockey Challenge.
Last weekend, the Australian newcomer had what could turn out to be a career-defining day at Sha Tin, landing three winners at big odds to grab the attention of not only owners and trainers, but Jockey Challenge followers as well.
It is unlikely Clipperton will be sneaking under anybody’s guard this week, and while his rides are still somewhat of a mixed bag, the 22-year-old may still be worth an early bet in the Jockey Challenge.
Clipperton was $25 in early betting – a big enough price to take a small shot at him having some early success – but it will have to be early success, as all of his chances come in the first half of the day.
As usual, Joao Moreira is a dominant Jockey Challenge favourite, rock solid at $1.65 on Friday night, but those who take Clipperton will know their fate early at least – and perhaps be able to snap up some value about Moreira as a saver later.
Nash Rawiller was unable to keep the ride on Sea Warrior after a last start Class Five win because of a light weight here, in what might be as weak a Class Four as you will find all season and Clipperton has snapped up the ride.
Then Clipperton rides three straight for John Moore – Prince Falcon, Spicy Kaka and Rewarding Flyer – all with decent chances and also in relatively weak races.
Prince Falcon has been brought back in trip and his last start third indicated he won’t be far away here, while first-starter Spicy Kaka is a lot better than his worrying solitary trial on a sloppy all-weather track indicated.
Rewarding Flyer finally draws a gate for the first time this season, and although barrier 13 didn’t stop the four-year-old first-up, jumping from two is an absolute luxury here over what seems to becoming the horse’s pet distance of 1,400m.
Of course, the Jockey Challenge is a numbers game most weeks and Moreira not only holds most of the aces – but a strong numerical advantage.
After race four Clipperton has just two rides – both outsiders, and Moreira has a ride in every race including four horses that held favouritism in early betting.