SAROA Owner of the Month for August joins the Punters’ Club to talk about her winner Handsome Return. Dianne was nominated by Allie Umoff as part owner of Handsome Return, Allie shared this with us It was a gutsy, impressive win, for Handsome Return, first up and running over a much shorter trip than his preferred distance (1250 meters versus preferred distance of 1600-2000m) against some notable horses, including Tequila Time, Schilldora, and Tiara Star.  Handsome Return is Diane’s second horse.  Her first was Steel Frost, also trained by Will Clarken.  She has been a fan of the races for her whole life, and she and her sister-in-law decided a few years ago that it would be fun to get involved in ownership.  They initially contacted Ciaron Maher about getting a horse with him, but Diane’s husband encouraged her to look for an SA trainer and Ciaron recommended Will as a young up-and-comer. Diane contacted Will by email and he called back to offer a share in Steel Frost.  Then a couple years later, Diane had a friend who was also interested in getting involved in a horse and so when Will mentioned that he had another horse with some shares available, Diane got a share with her friend.  That horse was Handsome Return.  Steel Frost has since been retired but Diane has shares in two other young horses with Will that will be hitting the track soon.  Handsome Return was bought from New Zealand about a year ago (approx early August 2018) as a lightly raced 6-year-old, having only had 11 starts. He’s had 10 starts for the Clarken stables and his new ownership group (of which I am a member), for four wins, one second, and one third.  After his performance on 31 August, he is now heading to the Balaklava Cup.  While he wasn’t able to star in the Balaklava Cup he boasts a record including his early starts in New Zealand of 22 starts for 6 wins, 1 second and three thirds with winnings approaching $180,000, with less than $20,000 being earned in NZ. As well as two wins at Gawler, and two at Morphettville he was also able to run third at Caulfield in one of his two forays to Melbourne so far. His sire Handsome Ransom (by Red Ransom) has so far left 4 stakes wins including Ransomed, a Group 1 winner in NZ and Travolta who won two listed races in Sydney and almost half a million in stakes money. Handsome Ransom himself won a Black Opal Stakes in Canberra as a two year old. Handsome Return’s staying ability probably comes from the dam side with his dam Licensed To Thrill being by Rhythm whose most notable winner was the mighty mare Ethereal winner of both the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups in the 2001 season. Licensed To Thrill won one race from 19 starts and of her progeny at stud Handsome Return is the only one named. The granddam Molly (by Super Imposing) had an unimpressive stud career. Briefly looking at Dianne’s first horse, the recently retired Steel Frost (by Bryannbo’s Gift) winner of nine from 27 and $420,000 whose one stakes winner was Steel Frost who won two listed races. Steel Frost is out of the Commands mare Horshoe who had three to race and Steel Frost was by far the best. This leads to an interesting conclusion that trainer Will Clarken seems to be able to pick the good ones. Congratulations to Dianne and best of luck going forward with Hansome Return and her two unraced ones.

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