The names that the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) has been known by are just about endless. These names are the Invitation Stakes, Marlboro Cup, Show Day Cup, VicHealth Cup, Eat Well Live Well Cup and the Dubai Racing Club Cup. Some of Australia’s best horses have taken the race out, Manikato and Testa Rossa to name a couple. On Saturday, 17 horses will attempt to add their name to a very impressive list of winners of this group one feature. Here is my runner by runner preview.
1 – Pinwheel
Nobody would be angry if this galloper won his first group one. Most consistent horse in Australian racing. Sat back in a slowly run race in the Sebring Sprint and finished off hard for a close fourth. Drawn barrier eight, he should get a lovely run and prove hard to hold out.
2 – Woorim
We know he has the best final 200m of any horse in Queensland, but I am starting to think he has one of the best finishes in Australia based on his effortless win at Moonee Valley. Arguably should have won this race last year. Another 50m and he wins. Drawn perfectly, dry track is perfect and after dominating Queensland racing, Robert Heathcoate is still yet to get a group one. Gets his chance here.
3 – Dao Dao
Does have class and races well first up, but the wide barrier is a concern. However, Dwayne Dunn is riding well at the moment and hopefully for this gallopers supporters, he can get cover. In saying that, I’m happy to just watch him go around.
4 – Toorak Toff
Beaut first up effort in the Bobbie Lewis. Was left flat footed but on the line he finished harder than anything else. He’ll improve immensely on that run and is back on his home track. He is a danger and the market reflects that.
5 – Danzylum
Capable at his best but not in this grade.
6 – Yosei
Multiple group one winner who was ordinary in the Bobbie Lewis. Will get the cheap run off the speed, the extra 200m suits and she is back on her home track. An exotic player with luck in running.
7 – Luen Yat Forever
Cracking return behind Pinnacles four weeks back, settling well back and flashing home late. Problem is that he hasn’t won on Aussie soil. He’ll get back and run on again. Place chance.
8 – Pinnacles
Great run last Saturday behind Utah Saints. He was a horse that just ran on without winning, but this prep has been different. He has been winning and winning well. I think he is a knockout hope.
9 – Silver Grecian
Hong Kong visitor. Hard to line his form up, but he does look to have come class. Maybe just watch and see what he does here, but the Beadman factor will bring him into contention with loyal punters who follow the champion hoop.
10 – Testacana
Quality son of Testa Rossa, who won this race in 1999 and 2000. Was wide all the way but packed plenty to win over 1700m last start. That was four weeks ago, but the Moody/Nolen partnership gives him a chance over 1400m against a crack field.
11 – Blackie
A bit unlucky behind Woorim at Moonee Valley. Wouldn’t have beaten him, but would have finished much closer. Nice gelding who will be better over further, but on his first up run, he has to be considered a chance.
12 – Master Of Design
Gun ride by Christian Reith got this bloke home in the Sebring Sprint. Much harder here though but he is only 0.5kg over the limit and Oliver jumps on. Don’t rule him out entirely.
13 – Smart Missile
With the drama surrounding Glen Boss fracturing his humerus and the unfortunate circumstances that led to the death of Crystal Lily, the preparation of this boom youngster has been thrown off the rails. But Anthony Cummings has replaced class with class. Brett Prebble will make the hit and run mission to Caulfield to ride this youngster. On face value, he should have won the Golden Rose, but he didn’t. Don’t know what to do from barrier 17 though. I am happy to risk him because I feel he is still so immature for a big race like this.
14 – Dreamaway
This is my tip. WA Derby/Oaks winner being aimed at the Caulfield Cup. Forget her first up run, she still hasn’t got out! Wider barrier means she won’t get cluttered up on the fence, Pike comes over again to ride this high class mare and I feel she is the good overs in betting. My money will be on her.
15 – Majestic Music
Probably needs to go back to Adelaide if she wants to be a competitive race horse. She was hopeless at Flemington and I cannot see her featuring here.
16 – Gold Salute
Frustrating horse who was ordinary in the Bobbie Lewis. No.
17 – Jungle Ruler
A personal favourite of mine but connections are aiming too high. In saying that, if there appears to be on pace bias, maybe a place hope because he will go all day if that is the case.
Dreamaway at value on top. I think with the run under her belt in the new surroundings, we’ll see the best of this classy individual. Hopefully she gets cover and a drag into the race. Woorim for second. All Damian Browne has to do is cuddle this bloke up and he’ll be in the finish. Top win at Moonee Valley and I expect there will be improvement on that effort. Pinwheel is never far away from the action and gets a great chance to win a group one for Darley and Pinnacles is racing in great heart and is drawn perfectly.
Written by Adam Page
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