While yet to confirm 100 percent whether they’re going to be there in the Epsom Handicap 2013 field this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, Jim Conlan is happy with the weekend win of his Epsom entry Clear For Action in Melbourne.
The imported former Singapore galloper, a three time international Group 1 runner-up, broke their maiden status down under on Saturday taking out the $80,000 SAJ Catercare Group Handicap (1500m) in fine style at Moonee Valley.
Ridden by Nicholas Hall, who copped a 10 meeting suspension for his weaving ride, at just their second run in Australia for the Mornington-based Conlan, the now six-year-old Commands gelding could be Sydney-bound this season or a shot at the Group 1 riches there in the mile features.
They’re an entry for the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick, official nominations for the October 5 feature to close at 11:00am (AEST) today.
“I want to see how he comes through this race,” Conlan told Racing Victoria on Saturday.
“He’s really sound at the moment and we’re having a great run with him soundness wise.
“I’ve entered him for the Epsom, I put him in because it’s spring and you’ve got to have a crack at something, but we’ll see.
“He’s come here today on the minimum on a Saturday and he’s done a good job.”
Clear For Action’s Valley win was a nice improvement on their first-up seventh at the same track over the 1200m in late June where the shorter distance and a big 60kg proved too much for them.
They have form right up to the 1800m back in Singapore having run second to Always Certain in their last run there, the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1800m) at Kranji back in October two years ago.
Having injured their tendon after that run, they spent nearly 20 months out of the racing scene before being sent to Australia for Conlan, who is confident they have a nice win in them this prep.
“Cliff Brown, who’s a good mate of mine, trained him in Singapore and he thought he was right up to our races over here but he bowed a tendon over there,” Conlan explained.
“With the facilities I’ve got at Pinecliffe, he thought the horse would be a better chance of making it back here, so thankfully the big boy set him over.”
Conlan also has his former Cox Plate minor placegetter Rekindled Interest heading towards the Epsom this year.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding worked between races with Conlan’s Australian Guineas winner Ferlax.
Finishing second to their younger stablemate, who resumes this Saturday in the star-studded Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, Rekindled Interest finished off well and is set to run first-up the following week in the $175,000 Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the Epsom Handicap 2013 nominations to be released later today.
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