Clark has big plans for latest racetrack purchase

Le Castile
Progressive mare Le Castile in winning action at Tauranga Photo: Trish Dunell

Bloodstock agent Adrian Clark has high hopes for his latest thoroughbred acquisition when she makes her racetrack return next season. Clark has purchased well performed racemare Le Castile for a Hamilton-based couple with the intention of adding black type success to the rising six-year-old’s career record before she heads to the matron’s paddock as a foundation mare for his new clients.

It is a path that Clark has travelled successfully in the past with the likes of Tip The Wink and Sarajay and he believes the Dalghar mare is more than capable of adding to that record. “The plan at the moment is that she (Le Castile) will race on for another season and if we can find some improvement in her, to win a stakes race and then go to stud,” he said. “I’ve bought her for relatively new clients for me, who wish to build a small broodmare band.

“This is a mare who has knocked on the door of a black type win and maybe we can get that success which makes the process a hell of a lot cheaper than going to Australia to find a similar type of mare who would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. “It’s attacking the situation in a different way with a mare that I’ve admired for a long time and I don’t think she needs to make much improvement to get the victory that we are looking for.”

Trained by Mark Blackie, Le Castile has won five of her 19 career starts along with finishing fourth at Group 2 level on two occasions to go with a fifth-placed finish in the 2019 Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) behind Nicoletta.

Clark is still deciding on a trainer for the mare who is getting set to make her return from the spelling paddock. “She will be going to a new trainer but that hasn’t been confirmed just yet,” he said. “She’s currently out spelling and hopefully will come back into work late next week.

“The first thing to do will be to get a new pre-training regimen in place for her, something she won’t have seen before which will include some aqua walker and some beach work. “They will just be a few things to fine tune her and then she can go to her new base for a spring/summer campaign. “It’s something I’ve done before with Tip The Wink and Sarajay being the two best examples. “I like getting involved with mares that have shown genuine promise but are still of an age where they can go to a new level with some careful management and placement.”

Clark also advised that star three-year-old Jennifer Eccles has thrived during an extended autumn break and is set to head back to trainer Shaune Ritchie in a fortnight.

Raced by Clark’s Challenge No. 10 Syndicate after he purchased her for $5000 during the 2017 National Weanling Sale at Karaka, the Rip Van Winkle filly closed off her three-year-old season with three straight black type victories including the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

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