Playoffs delivers moving Cup victory

Playoffs delivers moving Cup victory1 Aug 2022

Emotions ran high when our Tavistock home-bred Playoffs returned to scale after landing the Darwin Cup.

The six-year-old is trained by local horseman Gary Clarke, whose family were rocked by tragedy last November when his son Guy passed away.

"The Clarkes have been through a hell of a year - success like this can never bring anything back or change anything, but it just shows you how good a trainer he is,” successful rider Jarrod Todd told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

"I know what they were feeling and I'm just so rapt that I could deliver."

Playoffs was formerly trained by Ciaron Maher, who is also a part-owner, and David Eustace and is now unbeaten in two starts from Clarke’s stable.

"Ciaron contacted me ages ago and asked if I thought this horse was good enough to win the Darwin Cup, that was quite a while ago but there's been a plan in motion ever since,” Clarke said.

Playoffs was originally bought out of Cambridge Stud’s 2018 Karaka draft for $230,000 by agent Dean Hawthorne for $230,000 and won five times in Victoria before relocating.

He is out of the Zabeel mare Lazaan, whose dam Lashed was a three-time elite level winner from the family of the multiple Group 1 winner Shogun Lodge.

Lazaan has an unraced Almanzor three-year-old who was sold to Tony Pike at Karaka for $130,000 and a US Navy Flag juvenile purchased earlier this year for $160,000 and is in foal to Circus Maximus.