Clenton Holds the Key in 2015 Starlight Stakes

Trainer Con Karakatsanis believes keeping apprentice jockey Samantha Clenton aboard Howmuchdoyouloveme in Saturday’s Starlight Stakes 2015 is the key to the veteran running his best at Rosehill Gardens.


Howmuchdoyouloveme is a livewire chance to go back-to-back at Rosehill Gardens in a small 2015 Starlight Stakes field in Sydney on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart.

Last time out the seven-year-old son of Written Tycoon lined-up for his first run this campaign in a Benchmark 93 on a Heavy (9) Rosehill track where Clenton guided him to a comprehensive one and a half-length success on November 14.

The horse, a winner of over $655,000 from his 29 starts to date, got the claim from 61kg to 58kg that day but on Saturday his assignment in the $100,000 Listed The HQ Of Insurance Starlight Stakes (1100m) is a non-claiming event.

Still the Warwick Farm-based Karakatsanis has decided to keep Clenton in the saddle with Howmuchdoyouloveme to jump from barrier four in the eight-starter sprint.

“The negative is that she can’t claim but I had a good think about it and I couldn’t come up with a reason to take Samantha off,” Karakatsanis told AAP.

“I decided it would be a bigger negative if I didn’t put her back on.

“She has the key to him and he likes the way she rides him.”

He drops down notably in the weights from his last start to 56kg on the weekend with the Starlight Stakes weights led by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained That’s A Good Idea (60kg) paying $3.10 in the current markets at

“Now that he’s older he thinks about things more these days and doesn’t like to be hustled and bustled anymore,” Karakatsanis added.

“He relaxed nicely behind the speed last time and had that turn of foot at the end and he was proud of himself afterwards.”

That’s A Good Idea’s stablemate Dublin Lass leads the Starlight Stakes odds at a firming $2.50 with the rails run for her second run this campaign off a nice second at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival behind Pittsburgh Flyer in the Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m).

Howmuchdoyouloveme is the third and final single figure fancy at a more generous $5.50 to continue his good 1100m record that currently sits at three wins and two seconds from eight runs over the distance.

Before his last start the galloper hadn’t won under race conditions since June of 2013 when taking out the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) in Brisbane and now the drought is broken Karakatsanis hopes to keep the winnings coming.

The Starlight Stakes brings Howmuchdoyouloveme’s current prep to an end with the horse out in the paddock regardless of Saturday’s result.

“He’s not a horse who does well racing in the summer months,” Karakatsanis explained.

“As a three-year-old he collapsed after a race on a hot day so we won’t do that again.

“But going into Saturday, he looks really well. He hasn’t done a lot of work since his win to keep the bounce in his legs.

“He was proud of himself after the win. He is a horse I take run by run and the chiropractor comes a couple of times a week.

“He tore a hamstring in the (2012) Salinger and has had problems since.

“But for a horse who cost $5,000 he’s done a wonderful job to win almost $700,000.”

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