Champion jockey Damien Oliver has a real affinity with the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and at Caulfield on Saturday will be chasing his seventh win in the Group One feature aboard Master Of Design.
Oliver landed the first Group One of his highly-successful career aboard the Bart Cummings-trained Submariner in 1990.
He has since won it on Mannerism (1992), Poetic King (1994), Testa Rossa (1999), Mr Murphy (2001) and Orange County (2008).
Rosehill trainer David Payne secured Oliver for the last-start winner of the Group Two Sebring Sprint (1300m) at Rosehill last Saturday week.
The Redoute’s Choice six-year-old entire gave a dashing display in the Sebring, leading all the way to beat Cox Plate prospect Torio’s Quest, Fast Clip and Pinwheel.
A $2.1 million yearling, Master Of Design is on the comeback trail under the astute care of Payne after earlier stints with Lee Freedman in Victoria and Adam Durrant in Western Australia.
The horse has won six races and been placed in another three of his 12 starts and a Group One victory would set up a stud career for him.
“He’s a very serious racehorse. He’s won a Group Two now but if he can get a Group One then he’ll be worth millions as a stallion,” Payne said after he won on his home track last start.
“His family is one of the best going around. Horses like Danasinga are in his pedigree.”
The horse has won two of three starts for Payne but there is a reason why he is so lightly raced for a horse of his age.
“More often that not he pulls up lame the following day (after a race) so a lot will depend on how he gets over this,” Payne said after the Sebring.
“But there’s got to be a Group One for him somewhere. Whether it is this spring or perhaps the autumn remains to be seen.”
Oliver has also picked up the mount on the Thousand Guineas favourite Atlantic Jewel in a 1400m three-year-old fillies event.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock won in outstanding fashion at Moonee Valley on September 10 with Michael Rodd in the saddle but with him under suspension trainer Mark Kavanagh had to look for a replacement rider for Saturday.
Oliver will ride the promising three-year-old Cross Of Gold for the David Hayes stable in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) as well as Perfect Hostess in a fillies and mares’ 0-89 handicap (1100m).
Kavanagh has also booked Oliver for the promising Midnight Martini in the mares’ handicap (1800m).