Sheza Gift Wins for Clarke

Sheza Gift Wins for Clarke

19th January 2022

Bruce Stewart

“She’s a nice wee horse with a big motor. She’s had a few problems with her gait, but she’s learning. Blair said she had to be good to win today because she had to do a bit of work after drawing the outside of the back line,” said owner Gary Clarke after Sheza Gift won the Woodlands Stud Gold Chip Final at Winton today.

Sheza Gift heading out to the race track

Once tapes were released, driver Blair Orange settled Sheza Gift in the last half dozen in the large field. With 1800 metres to run he moved up in the three wide train. However he was posted out in the open for over 200 metres before sitting parked for a short period. Orange then got some reprieve when Pyramid Mystic came round to sit in the death. He moved Sheza Gift out to challenge at the 400 and she sprinted down the middle of the track to beat Dominations Call by half a length.


Gary Clarke, Sheza Gift and Blair Orange

Debrief with Clarke, Orange and Williamson

Sheza Gift was bred by Bev Williamson and is by Father Patrick out of Jasmyn’s Gift – the winner of seventeen races.

“He (Clarke) paid good money for her and it’s good to see him get some success. Most of the horses we’ve had out of her (Jasmyn’s Gift) have shown a bit of bottle,” said trainer Phil Williamson. “She (Sheza Gift) has stamina like her mother.”

Williamson is grateful that Sheza Gift came back well after sustaining a serious cut to her leg in the early days.

Of the sixteen starters in today’s race twelve were trained by the Williamson family. Phil and Brad lined up four while Nathan and Matty had two runners each.

Clarke has been involved in harness racing for some time, but has recently increased his stock numbers.

“I used to help Dad cart them to the races. I’ve had farms, always had a hack and gradually got into it. I’ve got a few in work and have ten yearlings but I’m trying to get better quality stock. I’ve got a good pacer with Nathan (Williamson) called Hurricane Hendrix. I haven’t had a real good one yet.”

Among his young stock Clarke has two two year old fillies by Father Patrick – one out of Wanna Play, and the other out of eleven-win Sundon mare Escapee. Both were bought from Trevor Casey.

“I also raced trotter Have No Fear which won it’s only start here. I sold her to Australia to Emilio Rosati. I actually sold about five horses at the time after I got p….d off at the Prime Minister putting us into lockdown.”

Have No Fear won the Group One Need For Speed Prince at Melton, and five other races in Australia.

Clarke lives in Dunedin where he’s a property developer but has land at Hampden where he grazes his horses.

“I just move them around. I don’t jog them up because I’ve had a few back operations and crashes on motorbikes.”

Clarke also has horses with Darryn Simpson, Phil Williamson, Nathan Williamson and Amber Hoffman.