Trainer Robert Smerdon will chase a two-state Group One double with horses who have been frustratingly close to elite-level success.
The Smerdon-trained multiple Group One placegetter Under The Louvre is considered one of the main chances in Saturday’s The Goodwood at Morphettville while imported mare Noble Protector is also at single-figure odds for Saturday’s Doomben Cup.
Smerdon believes the set weights plus penalties conditions of The Goodwood are suitable for Under The Louvre who will be out to improve on his third placing from last year.
Despite his three Group One placings and a handicapper rating of 105, Under The Louvre carries 55.5kg in the 1200m race.
“Because he’s only won at Listed level he doesn’t incur the major penalty for the Group winners. So given his high rating, he’s in the race fairly well,” Smerdon said.
Under The Louvre’s other Group One placings have been a second in last year’s Oakleigh Plate and third in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
The five-year-old is second-up on Saturday after running home for third in the Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield last month.
“I think he’s in a good spot at the moment. I’m really happy with him,” Smerdon said.
Under The Louvre is on the third line of betting behind Black Heart Bart and Supido.
Group-winning mare Noble Protector heads into the Doomben Cup after a last-start third in the Group One Queen Of The Turf Stakes, the same race she was third in the previous year.
The six-year-old steps beyond 1600m for the first time since her first Australian preparation in the spring of 2014.
Noble Protector, a $9 chance, was flown to Queensland last Thursday and Smerdon believes she’s ready for the step up in distance.
“She’s a stakes winner in the UK over 2400 metres and she ran second in her first run in Australia over 2000 metres to Contributer,” Smerdon said.