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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: April 2, 2023: DREAMS are free!

Roofing contractor and Hawkesbury hobby trainer Jason Clisby was “over the moon” winning at Mudgee today with the first horse he bred.

And he’s hoping Sarastrina’s $41 victory in the Maiden Plate (1400m) can eventually lead to a Group 1 triumph in the Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm this winter.

“That’s my dream,” a delighted Clisby said after the Denman filly had finished strongly to defeat another $41 roughie Our Orator to make a quick breakthrough at only her second start.

Clisby bred Sarastrina from his Nadeem mare Zaveena, whom he bought for only $1250 and won five races with her from 1700m to 2100m.

In fact, three of her wins were all at 2100m at Gosford, and today’s winning rider Grant Buckley rode her in two of them.

Sarastrina was placed in two trials at Hawkesbury in December and February, and made her debut there when last of seven runners in a 1300m 3YO Maiden on March 14.

“We rode her too close that day, and it didn’t suit,” Clisby said.

“I took winkers off and replaced them with blinkers, and allowed her to get back and relax in the same way her mother raced.

“It was great to see her finish off so well. It was a huge thrill to win a race with the first horse I have bred.”

Buckley allowed Sarastrina to find her feet and she settled last before he saved valuable ground on the fence to improve the filly’s position.

He got her away from the inside before the home turn and she produced a determined burst wide out on the track to overhaul the leaders and then stave off the runner-up in the closing stages.

Clisby has 40 acres at Ebenezer only 12 minutes from the Hawkesbury track, and currently has four horses in work.

As well as Sarastrina and his previous winner Bondadosa (at home in May last year), he also has a pair of Shooting To Win three-year-olds; a filly named Our Little Zoe and a gelding who will race as Big Shooter.

Our Little Zoe has raced only once, finishing seventh over 900m at Newcastle in January, whilst Big Shooter is yet to race but has trialled twice at home, and won a 760m heat there in February.

. Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Tommy Wong continued his most successful season in more than a decade when he was also successful at Mudgee.

Wong clinched his sixth winner in 2022-23 and third with Desi Emperor ($8.50) when the three-year-old snatched the Class 2 Handicap (1600m) in the last stride.

Jockey Jeff Penza gave Desi Emperor the run of the race, but he didn’t look likely to overhaul Musical Affair ($4.20) for the majority of the straight until right on the post.

The Kobayashi gelding was a $3000 yearling buy, and has now earned just over $60,000 from 13 starts.

Desi Emperor’s earlier victories were at Muswellbrook (1500m) and Canberra (1600m), both in January.

Wong’s three-year-old was Hawkesbury’s 140th winner this season, and then Clisby made it 141 in the following race.

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