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Jockey Tim Clark believes impressive youngster Rule The World could develop into a genuine 2019 VRC Derby hopeful after a tough win in the first at Randwick on Saturday.
Plans are for the undefeated two-year-old to follow a similar spring campaign to that of the also Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Thinkin’ Big from last year.
Clark enjoyed a successful association with High Chaparral galloper Thinkin’ Big last spring.
He rode the three-year-old to victory in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) and Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m), which is now known as the Caulfield Classic.
In between those Group 3 wins, Thinkin’ Big also ran third in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
He made it to the Melbourne Cup Carnival but only managed to run 12th at Flemington in the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m).
Before Clark jumped on, Thinkin’ Big came through a couple of Sydney winter runs with Blake Shinn aboard.
Twelve months on, that profile and form returns for the Waterhouse/Bott-trained Rule The World.
The untapped Hallowed Crown gelding backed up from a successful Canterbury debut on June 19 to handle a Heavy (9) track and take out the $125,000 Australian Turf Club Handicap (1300m) with Clark aboard.
In an all-the-way effort in the mud, Rule The World ($3.30F) held off the challenge of the Chris Waller-trained runner-up Betcha Flying ($10) to win by a neck, while Roman Wolf ($5.50) rounded out the trifecta in third.
“I have really liked him for a little while and he just wants to impress you with everything he does,” Clark said.
“He is a beautiful horse to ride and has a great nature.
“It is not easy to do to come from an 1100m midweek maiden up to 1300m on a Saturday on such a testing track but it just goes to show that he has got the talent there.
“We think he will get to a mile to 2000m and time will tell. This was the day last year that Thinkin’ Big won and he was able to get to a Derby.
“We think this horse is a similar type of horse.”
Co-trainer Bott confirmed plans to head out for a short break with Rule The World ahead of a spring return targeting Group 1 staying races including the Derby this November.
“We wanted to come here today to give him that little bit more experience and try to get his prizemoney and rating up for some of the better races in the spring,” he said.
“Most likely we will look to give him a little bit of a let up now and as I said, there are some nice targets for him.
“I think the best thing about him is he is just so professional and laid back.
“He is a very tractable for Tim (Clark). He was able to use his tactical speed, control the race from there and he was able to quicken at the right time.
“He fought it out tough.”
The $1 million Spring Champion Stakes 2019 runs on October 12, while the $2 million Victoria Derby takes place on Saturday November 2, betting on both to open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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