All the right factors came together for Clafoutis in Sunday’s G3 Acacia Handicap over 1600m. This was her favourite course and distance; her rating had come down to its lowest mark since November 2021 and she was correctly ridden by replacement jockey Jarryd Penny.
Those who follow Mike’s pre-race comments on his Betway blog and on this site would have seen several references to Clafoutis’ rating being too high (she was up to MR 105 at one stage), but with a drop to MR94 and a handy galloping weight she was perfectly in here. “If she’s ridden in similar fashion (from behind), she looks to be competitive here,” said Mike, pre-race, of Clafoutis, who was outrageously easy to back at 25-1!
The form from her fifth place on 16 January to G1 winner Under Your Spell was well franked, with 3rd placed Queen Of Shadows and fourth-placed Hollywoodbound both in the money, close behind her, on Sunday.
Mike also noted in Sunday’s report that he wants Clafoutis to be ridden from off the pace and Penny rode a perfect race. She came from easily 15 lengths off in a fast run race to win with a strong and well-judged finish.
Penny said: “I saw that she had the fastest 400m to finish when looking at the form of her last run, so was happy to ride to instructions to give her a chance. She really ran on smartly.”
A Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein-bred daughter of Wilgerbosdrift’s Distorted Humor stallion Flower Alley out of the twice winning Danehill Dancer mare Berry Blaze, Clafoutis has 4 races with 3 places from 16 starts. She gave owner/breeder Mary Slack a feature-race double following Sean Tarry-trained American Graffiti’s win in the Listed Storm Bird Stakes.