Adelaide trainer Will Clarken is not shy to admit his decision to back-up Ironclad in the G1 $1.5 million Railway Stakes (1600m) is a bold move, but one that is worth taking.
The former UK import has been set a big task by Clarken after finishing fourth in last Saturday’s Listed Cranbourne Cup (1600m), beaten just over three lengths by Uncle Bryn.
It followed an outstanding first up third behind Old Flame in the G2 Linlithgow Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Derby Day when he made a sustained run from last.
While Ironclad heads west for another encounter, Old Flame travels north and is one of the major fancies in the $1 million The Gong (1600m) at Kembla on Saturday.
From home base in Adelaide to Melbourne, Sydney and now Perth, Ironclad, has been asked to cover a lot of territory this campaign.
Clarken concedes it’s an unorthodox preparation for Ironclad, but says as a multiple Listed winner he has the ability to overcome the challenge.
Ironclad has won three feature races in his 20 start career: the C.S.Hayes Cup (1600m) and Matrice Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide and the Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo.
Clarken said Ironclad had settled into Perth in great condition.
“He’s fantastic and is down at Grant and Alana Williams,” Clarken told The Races WA.
“They have been so accommodating and have a beautiful property.
“He has really settled in well, but won’t do any work on the seven day back up.
“He most probably won’t have a saddle on his back until he goes to the races on Saturday.
“He should have run second I reckon the other day if he drew a gate.
“He ran third in a Group 2 the start before.
“He’s obviously got the ability.
“It’s a big ask, but with $1.5 million on the table you have to ask, don’t you.”
After copping wide barriers at his past three runs, Clarken was thrilled when Ironclad drew gate seven in the Railway Stakes.
“Finally, he has drawn a gate,” Clarken said.
“With emergencies out he comes into five, which is perfect.
“They say there will be fast pace in the race and hopefully he can hold a position, that will be ideal for the horse.”
Ironclad is one of three interstate raiders for the Railway Stakes.
Chris Waller is represented by Yonkers and Winning Partner is first emergency for Tony and Calvin McEvoy.
Lachlan Neindorf will ride Ironclad in the Railway.
With Tabtouch Ironclad is currently quoted at $10.