Clockwork Orange did best in a bumping duel before winning her maiden for owner-breeder John Camilleri at Pakenham on Tuesday.
Given a peach of a ride by Regan Bayliss, she was all set to surge clear at the furlong when Captain Smooth shifted out and made contact. The interference unbalanced both horses but the impeccably bred More Than Ready filly recovered to score by three-quarters of a length. Captain Smooth’s apprentice jockey Steph Thornton was later suspended by stewards for careless riding.
Clockwork Orange is a daughter of Vinery’s champion sire and Private Steer (Danehill Dancer) who was a Group 1 winner of the Doncaster Mile, Stradbroke Hcp and All-Aged Stakes with trainer John O’Shea.
“It’s great to win on this filly for Mr Camilleri,” Bayliss said. “He owned my first winner and first stakes winner and has played a big role in my career.”
Clockwork Orange started an odds-on favourite and was a class above a moderate winter field. She had been prominent on debut in the LR Talindert Stakes at Flemington in February and was coming off a midfield finish in the LR Lightning Stakes at Morphettville last month.
“She’s got a tremendous amount of ability and is really starting to hit her straps,” Bayliss continued. “She was over-racing but is much more relaxed with a nose-roll. The key was getting cover and that helped her finish them off today.”
Lindsay Park nominated Clockwork Orange for the G1 Thousand Guineas along with More Than Ready stablemate Zunbaqa who has won her last four in a row.
Camilleri retained Clockwork Orange after she failed to reach a $240,000 reserve at the 2015 Inglis Easter yearling sale. Her residual value was worth more that alone and it was also a comfort when Private Steer died earlier this year. Her final foal is a colt by More Than Ready’s Group 1 winning sire-son Sebring.