Tyabb hobbyist Geoff Clout celebrated his first win as a trainer at Cranbourne on Tuesday night when the four-year-old mare My Superannuation was successful in the third race on the program, the Decron Pace.
Clout, who runs his own solid plastering and rendering business, only took out his trainers licence this season to fulfil an interest that developed more than 20 years ago in his native New Zealand.
“We basically lived next door to the Hutt Park Raceway in Wellington and my brother and I gave a fella a hand with his horses before and after school,” Clout explained. “I wasn’t really involved in the sport when I came across but I did breed a couple of horses including My Superannuation a few years back.”
“It was only at the start of this season that I thought I’d have a crack at training and so I took over My Superannuation from Simone Walker who did all the early work with her as a two and three-year-old.”
Clout produced the daughter of Mister Feelgood for a promising first up second placing at Yarra Valley on the 13th December but some four weeks elapsed before her maiden win at Cranbourne on Tuesday night.
“She went really good at Yarra Valley but then she tied up really badly after that run,” Clout said. “I’m only new at the caper and it was a matter of getting her feeding and training routine right before we could get back to the races.”
When asked about his confidence levels going into the Cranbourne assignment Clout was fairly understated. “She did work good during the week but it was only the second time I’ve had one to the races so I didn’t know for sure what to expect.”
Clout needn’t have worried as my Superannuation lobbed into the perfect trail behind the leader at the start and always looked the winner in the run. On the line the mare had a four-metre margin to spare over Charisma King with the consistent Cheeky Major holding down third placing.
“It was a big thrill to win my first race as a trainer and I’d really like to thank Dylan Stratford and Leigh Miles for their help,” Clout said. “Dylan has given me lots of little tips and working with his horses when I come into Cranbourne to fast work has made a heap of difference. And Leigh has been my phone a friend ever since I bought some gear off him last year.”
Stratford too was successful at Tuesday night’s meeting with his five-year-old pacer Sir Lincoln leading all the way to win the Hyland Race Colours Pace.
The gelding speared straight to the front from a wide draw after the start and then he and his driver Greg Sugars simply defied his rivals to run him down.
“Greg looked like he was going to go back at the start but made a split-second decision to go forward when nothing else showed much early speed,” Stratford said after the race. “It pretty much meant the difference between winning and losing and is why the top guys are so good at what they do.”
“All the way down the straight I thought he was going to get swamped but he just kept finding. I’ll swear the straight at Cranbourne gets longer every time I have one land in front!” Stratford lamented later.
For now though he’ll savour his win while he looks for a suitable race for Sir Fortune in the next fortnight.
By David Scott
Photo: Claire Weston Photography