One of Britain’s youngest Flat trainers, Tom Clover, was celebrating his very first triumph on Monday after his two-year-old Declarationoflove landed the opening Novice Stakes over five furlongs.
A twice-raced horse previously, the son of Ballydoyle’s Declaration Of War had shown good form finishing a close fourth over course and distance on debut and a third at Brighton next time.
Positioned just off the leading pair under Andrea Atzeni, the colt was pulled out to challenge two furlongs out and stayed on nicely to win going away at the winning post.
“It’s something I’ve worked very hard towards for a long part of my life so it’s fantastic,” said Clover.
“To do it with a horse we bought ourselves relatively inexpensively as well is just great. He lengthened nicely in the end, got to the front and half sort of twitched but Andrea gave him the most beautiful ride.
“He’s entered in the Wetherbys Super Sprint but there’s also a possibility that he could go to Royal Ascot.”
Clover, 31, officially began his career alongside partner Jackie Jarvis back in October and is based at Wroughton House Stables on Old Station Road.
His resume in the sport rates second-to-none. He began as assistant trainer to jumps trainer Charlie Longsdon before spending five seasons in a similar role with David Simcock, perhaps best known for his handling of five-time Group 1-winning sprinter, Dream Ahead.
Despite not hitting the target with his first 16 attempts, Clover’s string – which is around 20-strong – had been acquitting themselves well, with a number of placed efforts to be found.
“A lot of our horses want decent ground and we’ve got a nice bunch of horses to run over the summer,” added Clover.
It’s something I’ve worked very hard towards
“We are a bit two-year-old heavy as you would expect being a first-season trainer, but there’s lots of nice prospects for the future.”
The emerging young talent has also acquired a three-year-old filly called Circulate who he is training for the Thoroughbred Club.
Purchased out of the William Haggas yard, she has begun to thrive in recent weeks and Clover feels that she will be ready to run in the next five to six weeks.