High quality mare Prompt Response is in the mix...
It is onto the Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight for the now Kris Lees-trained improver Clearly Innocent who was a big drifter in Kingsford-Smith Cup 2017 betting before his impressive win in the Eagle Farm Group 1 on Saturday.
Earlier in the week the five-year-old son of Not A Single Doubt was as short as $6.50 to handle a notable class rise with a win in the $700,000 Group 1 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m).
He eased out to double-figures before jump time in the weight-for-age feature but defied his price with brilliant three length win over the front-runner Jungle Edge who was the best backed horse in the race.
Formerly prepared by Greg Bennett, Clearly Innocent recently transferred to Lees’ Newcastle base where he has gone from strength-to-strength.
“He was very well looked after in the early stages of his career and I’m the one reaping the benefits of that now,” Lees said post-win on Saturday.
“He’s doing a great job so far.
“Going from a Listed race to weight-for-age was a concern.
“[But] he relished it [the conditions at Eagle Farm].”
Last time out the horse enjoyed a win by a similar margin at Scone taking out the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Bowman retained the ride in Saturday’s weight-for-age feature and was thrilled to get the job done again as Clearly Innocent made it three-from-three over the distance.
“Unbelievable,” Bowman declared.
“He gave me such a good feel at Scone.
“There was query in the class rise. I knew he had it in him, but whether that was today or in the future.
“He’s a really impressive horse.”
Settled back off the pace in his first elite level assignment, the eventual Kingsford-Smith Cup winner made up all the ground late charging home on the straight to run down the in-form mudlark Jungle Edge.
“I wanted to be closer,” Bowman admitted.
“But I didn’t want to push him out of his comfort zone to do so.
“His class shone through.”
After being smashed by the punters, Mick Bell’s BRC Sprint winner from last weekend Jungle Edge hit the front from out wide early going forward to lead the Kingsford-Smith Cup field around as expected.
The dual Group 1 placegetter this campaign in Sydney looked the winner, leading by a four length margin down the straight with the winning post approaching.
Bowman however had Clearly Innocent poised and ready to strike, quickly closing the gap with a barnstorming late run to move clear of Jungle Edge and take out the feature by three lengths.
After a tough run mid-field out wide, the Chris Waller-trained Counterattack came off his Doomben 10,000 second to round out the Kingsford-Smith Cup trifecta back in third.
The $1.5 million Group Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) back at the track on June 10 now looks to be Clearly Innocent’s race to win with the horse to enjoy a drop down in weight.
“He’s looking pretty good [for the Stradbroke] on the back of that performance,” Bowman said.
Clearly Innocent will be penalised for his Kingsford-Smith Cup victory, but should still get into the Stradbroke Handicap field on a very winnable weight.
“I think he’ll acquit himself well here in a fortnight,” Lees added.
“I hope he just gets enough [weight] for Hughie to ride.
“We’ll just tick him over now. He’s a lighter framed horse. We don’t need to do much with him now.”
Head to our No. 1 recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au to back this year’s Kingsford-Smith Cup winner Clearly Innocent at the right price in the upcoming Stradbroke Handicap 2017.
2017 Kingsford-Smith Cup Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 27/05/2017
|1||6||CLEARLY INNOCENT||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||–||8||59kg||$11|
|2||8||JUNGLE EDGE||Mick Bell||Kevin Forrester||3L||13||59kg||$5.50EF|
|3||5||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Opie Bosson||6.8L||6||59kg||$6|
|4||14||IMPENDING||Darren Beadman||James Doyle||8.1L||1||57kg||$14|
|5||1||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||9.1L||3||59kg||$5.50EF|
|6||11||DERRYN||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||11.6L||4||57kg||$6|
|7||12||TYCOON TARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||12L||10||57kg||$19|
|8||2||UNDER THE LOUVRE||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||12.2L||7||59kg||$31|
|9||10||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Ronnie Stewart||12.7L||9||59kg||$26|
|10||9||IN HIS STRIDE||Rex Lipp||Damian Browne||12.8L||2||59kg||$151|
|11||7||START WONDERING (NZ)||Evan & Jennifer J Rayner||Johnathan Parkes||14.3L||11||59kg||$26|
|12||3||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||23.3L||5||59kg||$31|
|13||4||MUSIC MAGNATE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Jeff Lloyd||27.1L||12||59kg||$17|
|–||13||EGYPTIAN SYMBOL||Bjorn Baker||Damian Lane||–||0||–||–|
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