Day At The Track

Clifford hopes Josephine Brook can win

07:54 PM 12 Mar 2019 NZDT
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Tony Higgs, harness racing
Tony Higgs has driven Josephine Brook to 11 placings from 13 starts so far this season for trainer Robbie Clifford. On Wednesday night he will be chasing a win at the Bathurst Paceway.
Alexander Grant Photo

Josephine Brook has been a model of consistency for Robbie Clifford this season, but there is still one thing the harness racing trainer has yet to witness from his mare - a win.

Across her 13 starts Josephine Brook has only twice finished outside the top three, with three of her runner-up performances seeing her cross the line less than two metres behind the victor.

Clifford hopes that Wednesday night's Harness Racing NSW Rewards Series Final (1,730m) at the Bathurst Paceway will be the race where the five-year-old can finally break through. 

If she can it would be her first victory since May 25, 2016.

"It's just frustrating," Clifford admitted.

"This will be the fifth Rewards Series Final for her this time in. She's been pretty consistent, that's for sure, and she's not doing anything wrong, she's just not finding the line in front.

"She seems to be well graded in this series, but every final or series there just seem to be one or two that are coming through that are just that bit better than her."

The Roll With Joe x Kassandra Brook mare qualified for Wednesday's final via a second placing in her Dubbo heat.

That was from a second row draw, but for the 8.40pm decider she will go from the inside of the front with Tony Higgs in the gig after drawing barrier three.

Clifford feels that will play in Josephine Brook's favour given the two runners he sees as the biggest threats - Wendy Turnbull's Walk On Kimmy and William Stubbs' Lovin Everyday - have drawn on the back row.

"In her last final she drew okay and led, but she got run down in the finish. We'll be going forward with her again from this draw and then I guess just play it by ear from there," Clifford said.

"The two main dangers, Wendy Turnbulll's and the one from Dubbo Mat Rue is driving, they were heat winners. They both led and won, but at least on Wednesday we'll start a cart in front of them."-

By Anya Whitelaw

Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

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