ON PACE: Faith Elliott rides Solar Choice to equal the 1500m record at Allman Park on Saturday.
ON PACE: Faith Elliott rides Solar Choice to equal the 1500m record at Allman Park on Saturday. Kirstin Payne

Les Clarke's picnic racer equals record

THE Les Clarke-trained Solar Choice equalled the course record at the annual Warwick Picnic Races on Saturday at Allman Park.

Clarke lives at Killarney and trains horses at Allman Park.

Solar Choice is a six-year-old mare Clarke bought from Sydney trainer Joe Pride two years ago.

The time of one minute, 28.51 seconds for 1500m equalled the record Sundae Jester set in winning the Warwick Credit Union Warwick Cup in 2004.

A gelding, Sundae Jester was trained by Ricky Ludwig at Beaudesert.

Warwick Turf Club president Jim Costello said Solar Choice had six wins and had previously won at Allman Park.

"They were running fast times all day but there was still a good cover of grass, which gives the starters a bit of a cushion on top," he said.

"The racing was good and incident-free which was great. Every race started on time."

The next Warwick meeting will be the Killarney Cup meeting on June 28.

Clarke admits winning the Killarney Cup was a factor in the purchase of Solar Choice.

"She hasn't been ready for the past two Killarney cups, but hopefully she will be this year," he said.

"Solar Choice won over the same distance on Saturday. She has previously won at 1400 metres and the race on Saturday was her first at 1500 metres."

Clarke is undecided about the plans for the mare in the next seven weeks.

"She will need a run in between, but we don't know where yet," he said.

"Solar Choice has won at Goondiwindi, Warwick, Dalby and Toowoomba and has been a starter at Doomben where she ran fourth.

"She tries all the time, all you need is a bit of luck, a good barrier draw and a bit less weight."

The handicapper put the mare on 59kg weight for Saturday, but with a 3kg allowance for apprentice Faith Elliott, she was carrying 56kg.

"Faith rode her well and is a likely jockey for the cup. It was the first time she had ridden a horse for me," Clarke said.

Warwick trainer Terry Catip had a second with Brother Elvis in Race 3 on Saturday.



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