Kempton win for Clog Maker and Sky Defender

By JOHN  SCANLON

Racing at Kempton Park on February 16 saw the yard chalk up a double, both winners ridden by Joe Fanning.
First into action was Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed’s Clog Maker. This Dark Angel colt had had just one outing as a juvenile, finishing fourth of seven behind the subsequent Mill Reef Stakes winner in a six furlong novice event at Haydock last May.
The colt returned to the track in another six furlong novice event at Kempton for which six runners went to post. Drawn one off the rail, Clog Maker edged a little to his left on leaving the stalls, but, pushed along by Joe briefly, he soon recovered to take the lead.
He was tracked throughout by the newcomer Lexington Storm, who loomed up to challenge with a furlong to race. Showing a decent attitude, Clog Maker kept on well to pull clear of that rival in the closing stages, scoring by two lengths, with Rogue Tide a length and a half back in third.
Clog Maker is out of the Rock of Gibraltar mare, Utrecht, who won the Group 3 Prix Chloe at Maisons-Laffitte over nine furlongs when trained by Andre Fabre for Sheikh Mohammed. In the paddocks she has produced two other winners in Hill Street, and Sullivan Street, both by Street Cry.
Sky Defender was stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time in the handicap for four-year-olds and upwards later on the Kempton card.
Having won at Lingfield over a mile and a quarter at the beginning of the year, Hamad Rashed Bin Ghedayer’s Farhh colt had run well in defeat over the same course and distance on the last day of January.
Stamford Raffles took a keen hold and led the seven-strong field in the early stages. Joe Fanning settled Sky Defender in second, tracking the leader and racing on his outer.
Turning for home, Joe Fanning asked Sky Defender to take closer order, and the partnership hit the front with over a furlong to run. Keeping on well, Sky Defender proved too strong for Calling The Wind and Entangling, the distances being two lengths and a head.
This was a fourth career success for Sky Defender, who appears to be improving fast. His rating soared to 99 after this win, and it will be fascinating to see whether he can build further on this success, and if so over what distance.