Clapham looks for Casino pay day
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
LEO CLAPHAM hopes his theory on Pay Day Lass might finally bring him a pay day in the Casino RSM Beef Week Cup (1400m) today and erase the horror of the 2006 Casino Cup. Pay Day Lass failed to finish in the Casino Cup last August after bleeding and the Casino-based Clapham sent the mare for a lengthy spell.
She has started twice since for a last at Grafton last month when she was slowly out of the barriers then was slow to begin again but ran home stoutly for third to Kendrick Lad at Ballina on May 15.
Michael Squires, who only recently switched from Tamworth to Ballina, has ridden the mare at her past two starts and has the ride again today.
"This mare usually takes two or three runs to reach her peak and I think that third at Ballina showed she was on her way back," Clapham said.
"After the bleeding attack I decided to give her a long spell to give her plenty of time to recover and then bring her along slowly.
"That was her first attack and we cannot afford another one.
"Michael is a top-notch rider and is getting to know her now so hopefully after two runs and Michael on top she can go one better and win the cup."
Last year Pay Day Lass ran second to Jenks in the Beef Week Cup when ridden by Kevin Forrester, one of a succession of jockeys on her last preparation.
Today the Gold Coast-based Forrester, who has ridden all over Australia, is back at Casino to ride Advantage Plus for Casino trainer Shane Randall.
Beaudesert trainer Ricky Ludwig will rely on two horses, both resuming from spells, to win him more feature races at Casino.
Pistol Knight will start in the Beef Week Cup while Sundae Jester will start in the Northern Co-Operative Meat Company Charity Open (1000m).
Sundae Jester won the 2004 Beef Week Cup-Casino Cup double and the following year ran third in both races.
Both horses will be ridden by Sheree Drake.