STARS OF THE PAST - CLYDE RANGER.
01 January 1987.
Clyde Ranger spent the whole of his rules career here at Oakwood Stables, he only raced on 20 occasions, but could boast a very good strike rate of six wins, four of which were over fences, from only 12 starts. His sire Kemal was a very good source of National Hunt horses, and his dam Clyde Avenue was also represented on the racecourse by the 132 rated, Mrs John Harrington trained Hume Castle.
Clyde Ranger went off a well fancied 5/1 shot on debut at Ayr in March 1991, and would probably have won but for coming down at the last when travelling the best.He was off the track after that until November,when racing over an inadequate two miles back at Ayr, where he was outpaced, coming home in fifth. A step up in trip at Newcastle eight days later, failed to see any improvement, his next race was at Chepstow, in March 1992, in the valuable 'Philip Cornes Saddle of Gold Final', where he faded after showing up well to three out.
He was given a long break, and he did not return until Newcastle in early December, but he came back a different horse, winning the three mile handicap by 3/4 of a length, off a very good looking mark of only 89.He doubled up just 10 days later in a three runner race, at the cramped odds of 2/7, but he justified them with ease.The handicapper took no chances and raised him 18lb to 107, which at that stage of his career was just a little too much, as he finished third in both of his next two races.
Clyde Ranger made his chase debut at Kelso in December 1993, staying on strongly under Chris Grant, and taking his form to a new level.He reappeared at Wetherby only 11 days later, but was unlucky to bump in to the legendary One Man, where he finished second, with a distance back to the horse in third.He was back at Wetherby in January 1994, and carried his penalty, to come home by 30 lengths at 1/1 money.In February he earned himself a crack at the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot, where he was still well in touch when coming down at the ninth, in the race won by One Man once again.Back at Kelso in March, Clyde Ranger made all for his third novice chase win of the season, before just finding the Jonjo O'Neil trained Beachy Head too good on the day,at Carlisle in March.
He started the 1994-1995 season by winning first time up at Wetherby off 119, and back at Wetherby over Christmas, he just failed to give 3lb to the David Nicholson trained Arthur's Secret,in what was probably his career best performance.He next raced at Carlisle in January 1995, but after jumping without any fluency his jockey Chris Bonner pulled him up, saying that the horse appeared lifeless. In two subsequent attempts including the 'Grimthorpe' at Doncaster, he once again pulled up, his final race was at Wetherby in December 1995.
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