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Clarken playing straight with Cavaloce

South Australian trainer Will Clarken has one concern as he prepares to travel to Melbourne for a stakes race at Flemington with Cavaloce.

On previous trips to Flemington to contest races down the straight course his horses have under-performed.

On Sunday, Clarken has Cavaloce primed to contest the Group Three Standish Handicap (1200m), the mare’s first attempt at straight racing.

Cavaloce has been to Flemington once before, finishing sixth in a Group Three 1400m-race during Melbourne Cup week, a result that pleased the trainer who then gave the mare freshen-up.

Clarken is happy with the mare’s condition as she goes into Sunday’s race having won the Listed City Of Marion Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on December 10 with the trainer confident Cavaloce is in peak form to turn his straight track record around.

“She likes her races spaced which is what we’ve done and we expect her to run very well,” Clarken said.

But it’s the straight track that is worrying Clarken.

“My horses generally as a rule haven’t raced very well down the straight before but she’s got a lot more class than what I’ve taken there before,” Clarken said.

“She likes to build speed which is how they race down the straight now.

“They don’t go hard early, they gradually pick up and that will suit her.

“She’s a big mare and she needs space, so hopefully it’s not a mad outside rail bias.

“It’s not my favourite course but it’s a race that suits her.

“She’s good at the distance. She’s got a good jockey and the horse is in great form.”

Cavaloce will be ridden by Mark Zahra on Sunday.

The mare is the only horse Clarken has nominated from his team of eight or 10 in work at Morphettville for the upcoming weekend.

Clarken will travel the mare to Ciaron Maher’s Caulfield stable on Thursday night ahead of Sunday’s race.

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