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Divine Fire hoping to return to the winners circle this weekend

Will Clarken and Niki O’Shea are hoping local filly Divine Fire can turn her form around in the $120,000 Listed Clare Lindop Stakes (formerly Laelia Stakes) at Morphettville on Saturday.

Some key scratchings of dually accepted Victorians has opened up the race where Quickster sits at the top of the market after Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman opted for Adelaide over Moonee Valley.

“It’s an excellent edition of the race,’’ Clarken said on Racing SA’s Front Runner Podcast.

“It’s a race we programmed for her, but this year is a very good line-up,’’ he said.

Divine Fire caught the eye first-up from a spell when she made good ground behind Vexatious Dancer at Morphettville over 1100m before she disappointed at her second run back when beaten 3.5 lengths behind Final Chance at Strathalbyn over 1350m.

“She was good first-up, we were expecting a big run last start at Strathalbyn and she disappointed on the day,’’ Clarken said.

“We can’t work out what happened there.

“She’s a filly with very good ability, we’ve applied the tongue tie and her work was good on Tuesday morning.

“We’ll ride her conservatively to find the line late, but it is a very strong edition of the race,’’ he said.

Clarken has a strong hand in the day’s other Listed feature – the $120,000 Matrice Stakes (1200m) where they’ll saddle up three runners.

Boognish will be second-up following a winning return on Adelaide Cup Day and Clarken said she was a horse who could find herself in some nice races through the Adelaide Racing Carnival.

“I think she’s one to follow,’’ Clarken said.

“I’m not in love with the draw (barrier two), she’s going to get back.

“She profiles as a horse who will get over a bit further but she’s an each-way chance,’’ he said.

She’ll be joined by Ballon D’Or who has been super this time around with two wins and a second from her three starts.

“She’s an unassuming horse, she just does we she has to do,’’ Clarken said.

“We don’t know what her ceiling is, she’ll get a lovely run from the gate,’’ he said.

And Group 1 placed stablemate Ironclad rounds out the trio having his first run back since finishing down the track behind Attrition in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield in the spring.

“He’s prepping up really well,’’ Clarken said.

“He’ll find the trip below his best, the conditions of the race a nice for him so hopefully he can pass a few in the straight.

“He goes three weeks into a 1550m Stakes race, which will be suitable for him,’’ he said.

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