Will Clarken has gone back to the drawing board to hopefully produce an improved performance from Ironclad in Saturday’s Group 1 Northerly Stakes (1800m) at Ascot.

The seven-year-old was well below his best when 12th in the G1 Railway Stakes over the mile, nearly six lengths behind winner Trix Of The Trade, but Clarken says there were genuine excuses.

“A bit disappointed with that run, he really showed the effects of the travel in the run, he raced a bit flat, saddled up flat then raced flat,” Clarken said.

“In the days afterwards, he picked up straight away, he looks a lot brighter.

“Still, he needs to improve astronomically out of that to be in the finish of this race.”

To find that improvement, Clarken has mixed up the training regime of Ironclad, who has also travelled to Melbourne twice this preparation, and believes the horse is responding.

“We’ve been utilising the facilities, doing some heavy sand training and he looks like he’s really thriving on that, hopefully that can be the key to get him to find what he needs to find,” Clarken said.

“We’re going to do a few things and change the recipe so he can find what he needs to find.”

Prize Money
Last 5
POS Jockey Track Date DIST Race WGT MRG Odds  
12 – 16 L.J.Neindorf ASCT 19 NOV 2022 1600m RAILWAY 53kg 5.8L $11  
4 – 11 E.P.Brown CRAN 12 NOV 2022 1600m CRAN CUP 55.5kg 3.4L $12
3 – 11 J.Allen FLEM 29 OCT 2022 1400m LINLITHGOW 56kg 4L $19
15 – 19 W.T.Price MORP 21 MAY 2022 1200m THE GOODWOOD 55.5kg 8.2L $61
7 – 12 J.Kah MORP 7 MAY 2022 1100m D C McKAY 55.5kg 1.7L $4.60


Brad Rawiller has been booked to ride Ironclad, who has drawn wide in barrier 11 for Saturday’s feature.

“Brad’s a really strong rider, which the horse responds to, I’m sure he’ll ride him well,” Clarken said.

“I don’t actually mind the gate for him, you look at Ascot on TV and it looks a bit different to how it profiles, you want to be rolling into it, you don’t want to be getting held up too much.

“We’re going to try and go a bit further forward, we’re definitely not going to be letting the horse balance up as we have been because it’s most probably D-Day of the preparation.”

While underwhelmed with Ironclad’s first Perth run, Clarken couldn’t have been happier with the performance of stable star Beau Rossa in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).

“I thought he was terrific last Saturday, I don’t know how closer he could’ve finished but I definitely argue he would’ve finished closer had he been able to get to the outside of them,” Clarken said.

“He’s stepping up to 1400m in The Gold Rush and I’m comfortable he’s finishing his races off, we’ll most probably ride him a little bit closer.

“Todd (Pannell) is keen to get up there and ride him again, it looks a nice race for him.”

Latest Horses.

Pin It on Pinterest