The clash between two ageless warriors in Rodney Clark’s hometown hero Apex Within and Rob Camilleri’s 2019 Sandown Cup winner Rajasthan shapes as the highlight of this afternoon’s Bendigo meeting.
The veteran duo boast remarkably similar statistics heading into this showdown, which will take place in race 8, the Bill Wilkinson Optical FFA over 500m, to jump at 1.43pm.
Remarkably, the soon to turn four-year-olds have both won 33 races, with Apex Within having faced the starter 82 times, four fewer than Rajasthan.
Both are also better known for their exploits over further ground than Sunday’s sprint assignment; however Clark has identified home track advantage and box one as massive ticks for Apex Within.
“He’s getting older and I’m trying to keep patching him up,” said Toolleen-based Clark.
“He’s not the dog he was but he’s got his box – he excels from the red – and he’s on his home track. He’s a Grade 1 at Bendigo.
“If he can find the front I think he’s got a very good chance because Rajasthan will be doing his best work late. He just needs an ounce of luck.
“Another dog of mine, Kraken Dust (box 7), is a chance in the race too but Apex Within is definitely my best hope. Both dogs have won over $100,000 in prizemoney. They’ve been fantastic dogs for us.”
Clark also expects the superbly bred Aston Lopez, a daughter of Group 1 winners Black Magic Opal and Secret Spell, to bounce back after a recent run of outs when she steps up to 500m in the sixth event, to jump at 1.04pm.
“She built up her stats early on but she’s had a bit of bad luck lately,” Clark explained.
“I expect her to run really well getting up to 500. She and Apex Within are my two best chances on the day for sure.”