Carnarvon Express Excites Owners


It was the phone call that turned Bob Clegg into a true believer.

As a horse owner, taking calls from a trainer can often deliver unwanted news.

Injury reports or career-ending assessments has the potential to crush dreams.

But in this instance, Clegg didn’t have to worry, Peter Daly came bearing positive news.

Given that Daly, a respected and venerated horseman is not prone to wild exaggerations or overstatements, it came like a bolt from the blue.

Clegg got an update on his new horse, Woomera, a galloper bought from Sydney and given to Daly to race in Carnarvon.

The four-year-old crossed the Nullarbor with only a modest record, but was showing positive traits in his new environment.

Clegg was pleasantly surprised by what he heard.

“It was after one of Woomera’s first work outs and Peter was excited,” Clegg said.

“When he got on the phone he just said: ‘wow, wow, wow, wow’.

“He didn’t just say it once he said it four times.

“He just finished working Woomera against one of Peter’s other horses who had won races in Geraldton.

“He said ‘you wouldn’t believe the times Woomera was running’, he was very upbeat.

“It was pleasing to hear.”

Woomera is only early into his WA tenure, but is well and truly living up to Daly’s astute assessment.

The son of Smart Missile hasn’t been beaten since teaming up with Daly, winning all three races, but it was his introduction to Carnarvon racing that set tongues wagging.

Stepping out for his debut appearance in May he made the rest of the field look second rate when he skipped clear and won by close to a whopping 10-length margin.

He proved that victory was no flash in the pan when he won his next start by 3 ½ lengths before completing a winning hat trick by 4 ½ lengths last month.

Carnarvon racing may be as far away from Flemington, the Melbourne Cup or a Group 1 race as it can get, but for Clegg and his wife Carol, it matters little.

After more than 40 years as owners, the Clegg’s are enjoying and savouring their best moment in racing.

“We are pinching ourselves and can’t really believe what is happening,” Bob Clegg said.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to Carnarvon, but I think there is so much more improvement.

“It’s not the horses he is beating, but the times he is running.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but I don’t think we have reached the bottom with him just yet.

“He is such a magnificent laid back horse who just fires up on race day.

“He is relishing a new environment and having the sun on his back.”

Clegg said aside from basking in Woomera’s race track success, he was delighted to be sharing the spoils of victory with Daly

“I have raced horses with Peter before, but this is on another level,” Clegg said.

“I couldn’t be happier for Peter to have found another good horse.

“It’s given him an incentive and a real buzz.

“He deserves it, he is one of nature’s gentleman.”

In an ironic twist, the Clegg’s, who are based in Rockingham, have yet to witness Woomera live in action.

But if he continues to progress as expected, they will be on their way to Perth in the coming months.

“Peter has a plan to target the Regional Championship final at Ascot later in the year,” Clegg said.

“To qualify he will probably have a race in Geraldton.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed.”

Julio Santarelli