IN Racing
Clement enjoying standout season
Hawera trainer Anna Clement is having a season to remember.
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | June 13, 2023
Photo: Peter Rubery

Hawera trainer Anna Clement is having a season to remember.

The Taranaki horsewoman is just one win shy of her previous best season’s tally of 10, following a winning double at Awapuni last Saturday, but that is the only statistic she hasn’t bested this term.

With nearly $250,000 accrued in prizemoney, she has already surpassed her previous best earnings by a six-figure sum, which was aided by her first stakes win courtesy of Rocababy in the Listed The O’Leary’s Filles Stakes 3YO 1200 at Wanganui last September.

“That was a lovely win by Rocababy, she is not a bad little horse,” Clement said.

“We were over the moon with her win. We weren’t expecting it, but you train your horses to win and she did. It was absolutely brilliant.

“She has always shown us plenty of ability and we have always thought highly of her. She can only aim for bigger things.”

The daughter of El Roca has returned for a winter preparation and will have her third start this campaign at Awapuni on Saturday after finishing runner-up first-up at Awapuni last month before finding the heavy track too testing at Wanganui last start.

“She was runner-up first-up and her last start was a bit disappointing, but we put it down to not handling the track. The track was very sticky that day at Wanganui,” Clement said.

“She got vet-checked after Wanganui and they said she was a tiny bit lame. We galloped her on Monday morning and got a vet clearance, so we are all clear to start at Awapuni on Saturday.

“We have nothing set in stone for her, we will just see how we go.”

Consistent campaigner Tavis Court has been another great contributor to Clement’s success this season, highlighted by his third placing in the Gr.3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings last September.

He is another who will be third-up for Clement at Awapuni this weekend following his third placing at New Plymouth and fourth placing at Wanganui a fortnight ago.

“He is a tough little boy. He raced well last start at Wanganui and he will head to Palmy as well,” she said.

Clement has two main clients, Graham Middleton and Graham Hill, and she is delighted to be getting success for each of her supporters, with the pair racing Rocababy and Tavis Court respectively.

“I have got 12 horses in the stable at the moment and Graham Meredith has got four and the rest are owned by Graham Hill,” Clement said.

“It is great to be getting results for them, they have been great supporters of mine.”

Clement is in her 16th season of training, and while she has always had a love for horses, she said she wasn’t drawn into a career in the racing industry until she met her husband, Brian.

“I did pony club and that sort of thing when I was younger, but I went away for a couple of years up north and I didn’t do anything with horses,” Clement said.

“I really missed it, so I came back to Hawera and have been working with them ever since.

“When I first started going out with my husband Brian, I started riding work for his father Jim Clement.

“Jim decided that he might want to retire, so I said ‘why don’t we go into partnership together?’ Four or five years later he decided to retire and I have just carried on.

“It has been in the blood for a long time and I love it."

Anna Clement Awapuni Hawera Rocababy Tavis Court Wanganui