Stradbroke Handicap winner Linton has been ruled out of the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night in favour of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield two days later.
Trainer John Sadler has opted for the extra 200m of the Rupert Clarke (1400m) to give the seven-year-old his best chance of securing a second Group One win.
The seven-year-old gelding has been rested for four months but has a great fresh record under Sadler, including the Group One Stradbroke (1400m) in June in which Buffering and Streama filled the placings.
Buffering, a nine-time Group One placegetter goes to the Moir while Streama is Epsom Handicap bound after claiming her third elite victory in Saturday’s George Main Stakes.
“He’s had three fresh wins with us and, hopefully, another one on Sunday,” Sadler said.
He said Sunday’s capacity field for the $400,000 Group One Sir Rupert Clarke (1400m) should mean the race would be run at a good speed.
“Hopefully, they will be lying down in the last 200 metres and he’s the one getting over the top of them,” Sadler said.
Linton, who ran in the 2010 Melbourne Cup when trained by Robert Hickmott for Lloyd Williams, will be restricted to races up to 1600 metres ahead of a planned trip to Hong Kong for the International Mile in December.
The Group Two Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on October 25 will be his next start after Sunday then he will be aimed at the Group One Emirates Stakes three weeks later.
“His campaign is spread out over a period of time. He’s a horse that likes his races nicely spaced,” Sadler said.
Jamie Mott, who rode Linton to two autumn wins in Adelaide, has got the job again on Sunday.
With a rating of 110, Linton is the highest ranked horse in the Rupert Clarke field ahead of Solzhenitsyn, third in the race last year, and comeback galloper December Draw, with both on 109.
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