Clipperton takes Chevalier Cup on Gonna Run

Sam Clipperton
Sam Clipperton win the Class 1 Chevalier Cup aboard French import Gonna Run

AUSTRALIAN jockey Sam Clipperton continued his rise in the world riding rankings, winning the Class 1 Chevalier Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The 22-year-old saluted aboard Gonna Run in a driving finish, narrowly edging out fellow Australians Brett Prebble and Nash Rawiller on the line.

“This is exciting, isn’t it?” Clipperton said.

“My first feature race and hopefully there will be more to come!”

The win was Clipperton’s first trophy race and as the field was turning for home it looked as though Brett Prebble was going to continue his winning form aboard $2.70 favourite Solar Hei Hei, but Clipperton drove Gonna Run along the rails to steal the victory.

Clipperton couldn’t celebrate after crossing the line as Prebble’s actions indicated that he had won the Chevalier Cup.

“I thought, ‘Oh no, he’s got me, and was a bit disappointed,” Clipperton said.

“Brett was celebrating and I thought that I’d been just beaten, so I was glad to see the photo had gone my way.”

Gonna Run is a French import, which finished fifth behind The Grey Gatsby in the Group 1 Prix de Jockey Club and Clipperton was confident heading in.

“I was confident about his chances going in, I thought he was a genuine lightweight chance and Caspar (Fownes, trainer) was quite bullish before the race,” Clipperton said.

“The draw helped, I had a lovely run, he travelled really well and he was there for me when I needed him, especially as we were going through a couple of tight gaps and making up quite a bit of ground.

“He’s always been a consistent type, though, he sprints well and today in a strong race he was very impressive and was in for the fight.”

Clipperton rode a double on the card when winning aboard People’s Knight in the Class 3 Chevalier Property Development Handicap.

“He’s been nearing a win,” Clipperton said.

“His last run was good, I thought he was going to get close but it was dominated from the front. Today he had a good gate – actually, he had a pretty similar run to Gonna Run, so maybe that’s the place to be today.”

The double took Clipperton to 12 wins on the season with People’s Knight his fourth winner for John Moore and Gonna Run was his first winner for Fownes.

“I actually haven’t had many rides for Caspar, but he was one of the first trainers I met when I arrived,” Clipperton said. “And John and I are building a strong professional relationship, I’m doing a lot of track work for him and he is giving me plenty of opportunities. Before I arrived, I was told the best way to make an impression was to ride winners for as many trainers as possible and I hope that I can continue to make more connections with other trainers too.”

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