Former Nigel Tiley-trained stayer Double Happy opened his account from his new base at Shaun and Emma Clotworthy’s Byerley Park operation when he took out the AUG 21 – Alibaba’s Flying Carpets Ruakaka Cup, an open 2100m contest at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The lightly raced seven-year-old gelding had won four of his 14 starts for Tiley before being transferred to the Clotworthy stable in May, where he produced two creditable efforts over shorter distances before disappointing in his subsequent two starts.
All was forgiven on Saturday as the son of Sufficient fought like a caged tiger in the run home to put his head in front at the finish line and secure career win number five.
“That was really good as he had been a little disappointing in those last two starts, although I think some sticky tracks tripped him up,” Shaun Clotworthy said.
“Nigel had said to me he didn’t handle the sticky stuff, so we were expecting a better run from him.
“It was a pretty slowly run race, but he fought hard and stuck his head out at just the right time.
“As long as he pulls up okay, he will head back to Ruakaka in a fortnight and then we will take a look around at what he could go for next.
“He’s actually done a little bit of jumping, so we might see him in that role later on.”
The Clotworthy’s have several talented jumpers in their winter team, including Arite Guru who is progressing well after his June 6th victory in the KS Browne Hurdle (3350m) at Ellerslie as he heads towards a pair of hurdling features at the venue.
“Arite Guru had a let up after he won the Kenny Browne Hurdle and he has come back really well,” Clotworthy said.
“He is just flying along, so we will most likely give him a run on the flat before he tackles the Pakuranga Hunt Hurdle (3350m) next month.
“His main target is the Great Northern Hurdle (4190m) a fortnight later, which he has to have a big show in.
“We’ve also got a few other jumpers getting ready for those meetings including Delegate, who hasn’t had a lot of luck, so we’re looking forward to stepping them out and watching them perform.”