Jockey Sam Clipperton has landed a stakes win as he re-establishes himself in Sydney.
Sam Clipperton has wasted little time finding his feet back home in Sydney, riding a Group Three winner two weeks after leaving Hong Kong.
Clipperton spent 2-1/2 years riding in the tough Asian racing centre but his opportunities had dried up this season and the 25-year-old decided to return to Sydney to re-establish himself.
He had ridden two winners since the beginning of the month and on Saturday was legged aboard Group One placegetter Eckstein in the Group Three Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).
The Kurt Goldman-trained mare’s first-up form is not flash but she belied the statistics and her $31 price to storm home and nab Dothraki ($12) by a halfneck.
Well-supported favourite Brutal ($1.95) was another half head third after having little luck early.
“It didn’t take me long to get a good win,” Clipperton said.
“We weren’t expecting a lot from her first-up but she’s trialled well in a hot trial and the race panned out well.
“I was expecting her to grind home and finish a nice fourth, not flash home over the top of them.
“She’s a genuine Group One mare without winning one so maybe this will be her preparation.”
Brenton Avdulla said had the previously unbeaten Brutal not drawn the outside barrier, the result may have been different.
“He was a bit stiff,” he said.
“He draws a gate he probably wins but he was honest.”
The Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rsoehill on March 16 is the target for Eckstein this autumn.