CUP HOPES: Foremen Des Fishcer and Laura Stritch with Gai Water-house’s horses racing in the Grafton Cup, Queenstown and Travolta.
CUP HOPES: Foremen Des Fishcer and Laura Stritch with Gai Water-house’s horses racing in the Grafton Cup, Queenstown and Travolta. Adam Hourigan

Jockey hopes he can deliver first win at Grafton for Gai

COUNTRY-raised Sydney-based jockey Tim Clark hopes he can deliver Gai Waterhouse her first win in the $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m) today aboard Queenstown.

Clark rides a lot of trackwork for the Waterhouse stable and has been aboard the four-year-old mare in trackwork and when she had an exhibition gallop between races at Rosehill last Saturday.

"She worked with a mate and worked nicely over 1200 metres," Clark said.

"It was a lovely bit of work, just what you wanted leading into a big race."

Waterhouse will also saddle up Travolta (Tim Bell) in the Listed feature.

Clark, 27, was born at Young and did his apprenticeship with Peter Clancyat Leeton.

He has ridden about 500 winners including 53 in Hong Kong during a 20-month stay.

Clark returned a more polished jockey.

"It was a great experience, fantastic," Clark said. "It is a great place to learn about riding. It gives you a completely different perspective.

"Since I came back from Hong Kong, about 15 months back, I've been riding a lot of work for Gai.

"We've had a bit of success together and she's rewarded me with some good rides like Queenstown.

"I'd love to win a Grafton Cup for her and I think I'm on the right horse to do it."

Clark has been to Grafton previously, finishing runner-up to The Jackal aboard Captain Bax in the 2008 Ramornie. It is his first ride however in the Grafton Cup.

Queenstown is a mare on the rise and Clark has no qualms about stepping up to 2350m in the cup.

"Gai has stepped them up many times," Clark said. "She's a great hope.

"She's been very competitive over the trip previously in the same sort of class. She ran third in the Zipping Classic (2400m) last spring.

"Queenstown is ready to go. I expect her to be a major player."



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