SIR RUPERT CLARKE STAKES
$400,000, Group One, Handicap, 1400m
Registered name Invitation Stakes and first run in 1951. Also known as Marlboro Cup, Show Day Cup, VicHealth Cup, Eat Well Live Well Cup and Dubai Racing Club Cup.
Significant winners include Matrice (1955), Tauto (1970-71), Cap D’Antibes (1975), Raffindale (1977), Manikato (1978), Magari (1982), Canny Lass (1986), Mannerism (1992), Encosta De Lago (1996), Testa Rossa (1999-2000) and Exceed And Excel (2003).
Four favourites have won in the past 10 years, including the past three.
THIS YEAR’S FIELD
A capacity field is set to line up with William Reid Stakes winner Lucky Hussler topweight with 58kg while the Gai Waterhouse-trained dual Group One-winning mare Cosmic Endeavour has 56.5kg. Disposition (54kg) is favourite as he chases a first Group One win, while Rich Enuff has drawn the outside barrier.
A race that looks to have good speed. Charmed Harmony is expected to jump and run while Rich Enuff is likely to press forward from the outside gate. Strawberry Boy is another on-pacer which has drawn wide. Disposition has drawn to get a nice run from gate three.
“He’s got all the hallmarks of a good horse. Now’s his time to prove it,” said co-trainer Lee Freedman on race favourite Disposition.
“It (the Rupert Clarke Stakes) has given me my biggest success so far and hopefully I can do it again this year,” said jockey Damian Lane who won his first Group One in last year’s race on Trust In A Gust. He’s aboard Gregers this year.
“You hope it’s a high-pressure race, which will suit him, and with Charmed Harmony in it they should be running along,” trainer Robert Smerdon on fast finisher Under The Louvre.
THE EARLY MONEY
As much as $16 was offered about Under The Louvre at the start of the week with the horse now as short as $5. Disposition is the $3.50 favourite.
Trust In A Gust (2014) was fourth-up, coming off a 1400m open handicap win.
Rebel Dane (2013) third-up. Won Show County in Sydney, fourth in Bobbie Lewis.
Moment Of Change (2012) was third-up after winning the Show County Quality and finishing third in the Tramway Handicap in Sydney.
Toorak Toff (2011) came into the race second-up after finishing fifth in the Bobbie Lewis at Flemington.
Response (2010) was second in both the Cockram Stakes and Let’s Elope Stakes leading into the Rupert Clarke.