Will Clarken strengthens arsenal for Balaklava Cup as Noname Lane impresses at Morphettville

Noname Lane tuned up for his tilt at the Balaklava Cup with an impressive victory at Morphettville on Saturday as trainer Will Clarken further strengthens his attack on the Listed event.

The six-year-old son of Shamus Award usually does his best work over a mile, but given he was having his first run in eight weeks, Clarken opted to send him out for a sprint over 1050m and he absolutely relished it.

Todd Pannell gave him a lovely run just behind the speed before finding a split early in the straight and finishing off strongly to score by just over a length at $8.

Noname Lane will step straight back up to a mile for the Balaklava Cup on Wednesday week, with stablemates Agreeable, He’s Exclusive and Zoulah also taking aim at the feature.

Clarken has made it a goal of his to collect the Balaklava Cup and was delighted with what he saw on Saturday from Noname Lane.


“He likes getting his toe in and he was having a gallop for the Balaklava Cup, he’ll have to carry the penalty now but he’s going very well,” he said.

“I’ve run second in (the Balaklava Cup) a lot so there’s going to be a blanket-bomb approach. If the track is off, we will have horses than can go forward and if you can make ground then we’ll have ones that get back and find the line.

“We’ll have a red-hot go.”

It was the first leg of a double for Clarken, who went on to collect the eighth event with Short Stories ($7), having to survive a protest in the process.

Stable apprentice Ben Price settled Short Stories just worse than midfield before sliding through the field on the turn and holding on to prevail in a blanket finish.

Jeffrey Maund, the rider of the fourth-placed horse The Big Kahuna, fired in an objection alleging interference inside the 200m but there didn’t seem to be much in it and it was quickly dismissed.

Clarken is convinced the quick back-up was the key for Short Stories, who had only been fair in his two previous starts.

“He’s an amazing horse, he gets desperately unfit, even if he has a bit of racing. He just blew out last week. He doesn’t look overweight but he just needs a lot of high-end galloping,” he said.

“He’s been on the seven-day back-up three times and he’s won all three times. I had that up my sleeve, it was a beautiful ride and I’m very happy.”

Earlier in the day, odds-on pop Sghirripa failed to replicate his 18-length trial win from last week, getting rolled by Ken Sweeney’s debutant Nostryia in the second race.

The result would’ve provided a welcome result for Sweeney, who hasn’t been at the track in months as he battles some health issues.

While Sghirripa controlled the race from the front, there wasn’t much there when Justin Potter pressed the button and Nostryia ran over the top of him at $19.

Nostryia was meant to be heading off to Singapore after winning a trial last month, but the sale fell through after he failed the veterinary inspection.

It might end up being a positive for connections, who might have a decent one on their hands as the three-year-old son of Nostradamus should take plenty of improvement from that run.

Originally published as Will Clarken strengthens arsenal for Balaklava Cup as Noname Lane impresses at Morphettville

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