The Challenge Syndications principal experienced the highs of racing with Jennifer Eccles a few seasons ago, with the daughter of Rip Van Winkle winning the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m), Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m), Group 2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m) and Gr.2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) on her way to being crowned New Zealand Three-Year-Old Filly of her year.
She was purchased by Clark for just $5,000 and he is hoping another filly he purchased for relatively little money can follow in her footsteps.
Clark went to $12,000 to secure Best Seller out of Highview Stud's 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 2 Yearling Sale draft and she more than recouped his outlay as a juvenile when runner-up in the Group 2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m).
She returned in superb fashion as a three-year-old on Wednesday when winning the Taupo Pak'n Save Fillies (1100m) comfortably in the hands of Sam Spratt.
While slow away from the gate and sitting several lengths off the main pack in the early stages of the race, she showed her quality when looming at the turn and gathered in her opposition to win by a long neck over promising debutant Sans Doute.
Trainer John Bary was pleased with her resuming run and is now eyeing the Group 3 HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings next month with his filly.
“Sam Spratt said she is still very green and will improve lengths with more racing manners,” Bary said.
“We took the blinkers off today. We are teaching her to relax and she did it nicely and came home well.
“She has hopefully got a good, long season ahead of her.
“She will head to Hastings for the Gold Trail, that was always the plan.”
Bary was also pleased to get the result for Clark and the Challenge Zen Syndicate.
“He (Clark) is a massive supporter. We have got four for him at the moment. He is great to train for – he is a champion bloke and he can spot a horse,” Bary said.
Meanwhile, Bary will have to wait another week before new stable acquisition Spring Tide makes his first public appearance for the stable.
The six-year-old son of Darci Brahma was due to trial at Taupo on Wednesday, however, he was left at home after a few behavioural issues in the morning.
“I went to bring him up to trial today and he wouldn't load. He has got more tricks than a barrel full of monkeys,” Bary said of the Group One performer.
“We will do a few things at home with him over the next few days and hopefully get him to the trials next week.
“He is well and he can gallop, and he looks great, but whether he has had enough I am not sure, but we will find out more.
“We will get him into the gates on Tuesday, get that out of the way, and then have a shot at the Tarzino (Group 1, 1400m).”