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Hareeba Stakes winner Under The Louvre appears unlikely to back up in the Group Three Victoria Handicap.

Trainer Robert Smerdon said on Tuesday he was undecided about the in-form horse running at Caulfield on Saturday but was leaning towards saving him for another race.

“I might just wait for something else because his main aim is going to be The Goodwood,” Smerdon said.

The $500,000 Group One Goodwood (1200m) is in Adelaide on May 16.

Under The Louvre finished second to stablemate Shamal Wind first-up in the Group One Oakleigh Plate and then proved too classy in Saturday’s Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington.

The four-year-old is among 30 nominations for the Victoria Handicap (1400m), with the Andrew Noblet-trained Sistine Demon to attempt back-to-back wins after scoring last year by six lengths.

Sistine Demon was deeper into his preparation and in winning form before the 2014 race, including claiming a Listed race at Flemington the start before.

He has not won since last year’s Victoria Handicap and was fourth in the corresponding Listed race at Flemington this time after finishing back in the field first-up in the Oakleigh Plate.

Sistine Demon worked over 1200m on the Caulfield course proper on Tuesday and Noblet said the horse was feeling and looking well.

The gelding sat outside the lead last start and fleetingly hit the front early in the straight before battling on to be beaten under three lengths.

“He was taken on which didn’t help him at all but I thought he stuck on OK being second-up over 1400 metres,” Noblet said.

“I’m looking forward to another improved run this time.

“You’ve got to take him on trust a bit but at the moment I’m pretty satisfied he’s going OK.

“He should be competitive but it looks a pretty good race this year on the nominations. He would want to be on his A-game.”

 
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