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A rising eight-year-old Clang gelding, Mr Clangtastic is one of 15 horses set to line up in this year’s $200,000 Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m).
Drawn on the rails in barrier one, Mr Clangtastic looked dangerous two runs back when finishing a game second behind subsequent Queensland Derby winner Shootoff in the Canterbury Lord Mayor’s Cup (1900m).
Last start, however, the old warhorse failed to beat home any other runners when finishing dead last behind winner and fellow Ipswich Cup rival Shuffle The Cash in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben on May 28, after which the galloper was vetted.
“I don’t really know what happened last start, they just went that hard and cut at him in front and he knocked up,” Bridge said of the always gallant front-runner Mr Clangtastic.
Randwick-based horseman Bridge, however, is confident the horse is back to full fitness and ready to bring some stiff competition to the likes of defending champion Our Lukas, Kiwi filly Arcenciel and The Hombre in the 2011 Ipswich Cup.
“He seems to be 100 per cent at the moment,” Bridge said.
Mr Clangtastic was in career best form back in the winter – spring of 2009 winning five races on the trot including two black-types.
Taking out the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) and then taking that form to Randwick with a big run in the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m), Mr Clangtastic showed his ability to match it with the best when finishing a credible fifth behind Speed Gifted in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) two years ago when under the training of Marc Conners.
It is this form that Bridge is hoping Mr Clangtastic can reach again, the horse having joined his stables only a few months ago after breaking down during the autumn of last year with tendon issues.
The horse’s injury problems started after their sole run for 2010 when third to Tobique in a mile handicap at Randwick in February, Mr Clangtastic sent for a break and not bought back until March this year.
“After his injury he had a 12 month break to get over it,” Bridge explained.
“Even thought I haven’t had him for that long I am still pretty clear on what he does and what he can do and I train him like I do all my stayers.
“He is definitely one of those horses where he needs the conditions to suit him.”
Rated a $16 outsider in the Ipswich Cup markets, Mr Clangtastic has the draw and the decent record over the distance, the only concern for Bridge being the likely firm track conditions.
“He loves it wet and I was hoping to get some rain up here but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” Bridge said.
Bridge will use Mr Clangtastic’s performance in the Ipswich Cup to determine where he heads next with the horse, the trainer looking at the upcoming Queensland cups.
“A lot will depend on how he runs on Saturday on where we go next,” he said.
“There is a cup race at the Sunshine Coast coming up over a mile and a half which I am having a look at.
“He can easily run over 2400 metres to 2600 metres this horse, the further they go the easier it seems to get for him.”
The race Bridge refers to is the $200,000 Caloundra Cup (2400m) on July 2.
On Saturday in-form Queensland jockey Damian Brown is engaged to ride Mr Clangtastic, Brown having enjoyed a number of feature wins during this year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival including aboard the Robert Heathcote-trained Woorim in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 21.
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