Under The Louvre will run in a handicap at Flemington despite having to carry a big weight with trainer Robert Smerdon keen to get the horse up and going before a return to the Brisbane winter carnival.
Under The Louvre, who won the Stradbroke Handicap last year, is set to run in Saturday’s Sports Handicap (1000m) carrying 62kg after the 1.5kg claim for apprentice Ben Thompson.
“He’s got a bit of weight but we didn’t really have an option. It was either stay at home or get him going,” Smerdon said.
“We’ve got the option of trialling at Cranbourne on Monday, but we trialled him there recently and it was really heavy, so it might be a better surface on Saturday, so I’d say we’ll go there.”
Smerdon said the 62kg was not as crushing over Saturday’s sprint journey as it would be over a longer journey.
But what does concern him is that he hasn’t been able to get a true guide how Under The Louvre is progressing after two trials at Cranbourne, the latest when ninth to Super Cash at Cranbourne on April 21.
“”He trialled all right at Caulfield a while ago but last time was no guide at all,” Smerdon said.
“Saturday tells us how we’re going.”
Under The Louvre hasn’t raced since finishing at the tail of the field over 1300m at Sandown last November and is rated a $6 chance on Saturday with Crystal Dreamer the $4.60 favourite.
The Smerdon-trained Reldas is likely to run at Morphettville on Saturday in the D C McKay Stakes (1100m) instead of tackling his stablemate at Flemington.
“We’ve still got the option of staying home but I think we’ll go to Adelaide,” Smerdon said.
If he runs at Morphettville, Reldas will be ridden by Craig Williams while Jordan Childs has been engaged at Flemington.
Under The Louvre’s Brisbane target will be the Group One Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm (1300m) on May 27.