A day after almost losing the ride on Clearly Innocent, apprentice Sam Clenton has claimed her biggest win on the local star at Scone.
Clenton was fined twice on Friday when she had to forfeit rides because she couldn’t get to 54kg and was under notice she would have to give up her limit weight rides on Saturday if it happened again.
It didn’t, and Clenton was able to take part in the Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) aboard the $2.80 favourite who was having his first start since winning the rich Country Championship final.
Clearly Innocent wore down the Bjorn Baker-trained Stradbroke Handicap hopeful Music Magnate ($3) to win the Listed race by a half length.
“I’m grateful to the owners and Greg and their faith in me to ride him,” a tearful Clenton said.
“He is a very progressive horse going places.
“The last 24 hourse have been difficult but it’s all worth it.”
Bennett has big plans for Clearly Innocent, but not just yet.
“I am proud. Everyone has been telling me since the Country Championship he is a Group horse,” he said.
“He’s not. He’s a Listed winner now.
“Maybe he is a Group One horse – I don’t know.
“But he will go to the spring. Brisbane is out and I hope Bjorn wins the Stradbroke.”
“And well done to Sammie. She deserves it.”
Clearly Innocent’s Country Championship also came after drama when the horse suffered a hoof problem on the eve of the race.
But his trainer, a master horseman, had him right on the day and Tommy Berry rode him to a dominant win.
Berry was also on the phone to Clenton from Japan on Friday.
“Tommy rang me and we talked about the race so that helped,” she said.