Day At The Track

Clotworthy leads Youngbloods Challenge

07:27 PM 07 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Ben Yole-trained Guys Bettor Bet, Harness racing

New Zealand born driver Sam Clotworthy leads the six-race Youngbloods Challenge after the first three heats were held in Hobart on Sunday night.

Clotworthy secured maximum points in heat two when scoring on the Ben Yole-trained Guys Bettor Bet at odds of $71.

“He won really well tonight, I knew he would run a big race if he could find a spot close enough and I ended up following the favourite in the one-one,” said Clotworthy after the race.

“He got me into the straight where I was able to get a split, and he was just super to the line from there, I like the horse, that’s my second win on him,” added the winning driver.

Many expected Clotworthy to win the opening heat on the favourite Jakes A Joy, but they could only manage third placing behind the Matthew Howlett driven Metro Star, who also delivered a rough result at odds of $31.

The seven-year-old gelding is trained by another former Kiwi, Ben Woodsford, with the win being his first as a trainer.

Settling one-out and five-back, Howlett was able to lead up the three wide line from the 1100-metre mark and the gelded son of Metropolitan proved too tough late.

Keeping with the theme of long price winners, it was a tough result in the last heat of the series with Ozzie Major scoring at odds of $31.

Scottsdale based driver, Georgia Hayward, was able to quickly find the position three back the marker pegs from barrier six on the gelding.

They were held up coming to the home corner before the five-year-old gelding found clear racing room at the 175-metre point to fly home and win in a slow last half mile.

Youngbloods Point Table

  • 33 Sam Clotworthy,
  • 26 Georgia Hayward,
  • 22 Matthew Howlett, Ben Woodsford and Samantha Gangell
  • 21 Charlie Castles,
  • 18 Malcom Jones,
  • 14 Bronte Miller,
  • 11 Lachlan Dakin and
  • 9 Andrew Freeman.

Clotworthy will be hoping for more luck in the final three heats in Launceston on Sunday night.

“Hopefully next week I can draw a couple of nice horses and barriers to scoop up a couple more points,” said the driver.

The open class race was won by Ignatius who had a soft run over the first lap, which played into his hands over the concluding stages to score by 14 metres over Ryley Major.

Juanita McKenzie prepared a double on the card with two two-year-olds, Sharmey and Helikaon, with leading trainer Ben Yole preparing a training quartet.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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