Racing

It feels like c’est la vie for Clements

He's sanguine about Celavi's condition for Saturday

Michael Clements is as pragmatic as he is tall. Maybe even sanguine.

While others will fret and frown when things take a turn, he looks at the bigger picture and probably, with a shrug, might say: "C'est la vie."

Yes, c'est la vie as in that's life. As in, what's there to worry? So it is with that speedster he has in his yard. The one we know as Celavi.

Of late, she hasn't been her usual self. Like when she once would be pulling arms out of sockets of jockeys when doing trackwork, Celavi is now more "ladylike". More gentle.

It's as if the turbos have been toned down a tad.

But Clements isn't about to call in the Marines or ring the alarm bells. He realises that it part and parcel of the game. It comes with the turf.

Then again, even though she has mellowed, he reckons Celavi is bang on track towards a first feature-race milestone - the Group 3 Merlion Trophy over the Poly 1,200m on Nov 27.

"She is doing okay," said Clements. "As we know, she's a mare who was hard on herself before and would rip along in her barrier trials. She now seems to have settled down."

That was the old Celavi. The new gal, who racegoers will see in Race 10 on Saturday, is more dainty and matronly in her manners.

But it doesn't mean she has lost interest. The fire in her belly is still there. That, Clements believes.

"She ran second (to Fame Star) in her barrier trial last week. It was still good, and it showed us that she had matured after we freshened her up.

"In saying this, she has still maintained her good form. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing amiss with her, she's still going well and doing okay."

Incidentally, Celavi's race on Saturday will be her last - that is, until the Merlion.

"Hopefully, we will get some answers after this latest run," Clements said. "She's coming up in weights and she'll carry 3kg more. It's also a stronger race with horses like Fame Star and others. Still, we're pretty confident she'll run well."

He didn't add a footnote. Perhaps, if he did, it would have been c'est la vie. Let's see what happens.

HORSE RACING