Sir Rupert Clarke 2016 race preview
22 September 2016 11:16 AM
The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes is one of the headline acts at Caulfield this Saturday. It's a Group 1 race run over the 1400m course and usually serves as a strong guide for black type middle distance races to follow in the Melbourne Spring Carnival. Past winners have included Exceed & Excel (2003), Testa Rossa (1999 & 2000) and Encosta De Lago (1996) to name a few.
This race has proven to be a great form indicator for the Toorak Handicap, a 1600m Group 1 race that takes place in October. In recent years Barely A Moment (2005) and Trust In A Gust (2014) have been the only winners who have managed to pull-off the double. Mares haven't performed too well in recent years in this race with only four mares winning this race over the past 26 years.
The Caulfield 1400m course can be tricky for outside barriers, with runners facing a short dash before they enter the turn into the side straight.
The track is currently rated a Good 3 and with no rain in sight, it is likely to stay that way on race day.
6. Counterattack started this preparation looking as good as ever. He was impressive in his previous preparation running well up to this distance including a win in the G3 Fred Best ahead of Takedown, who was a Group 2 winner last Saturday. Forgive his Stradbroke failure from barrier 14. Drawn well here. Top chance.
7. Voodoo Lad is progressing nicely with two recent wins in Listed grade. Very honest horse who is earned his spot here. Can't take lightly.
11. Bon Aurum has come back well. Reports say that he has responded nicely to beach training after an ordinary autumn campaign. His 1400m win at Flemington supports that mail. Won the Guineas Prelude as a three-year-old last Spring. For the sentimentalists, his dad Bon Hoffa won this race back in 2007.
1. Under The Louvre hasn't got the easiest of tasks here with 58kg jumping from barrier 14. Can't fault his two starts back this preparation though. Third-up in his previous prep he won the G1 Stradbroke in a courageous effort to the line. One of the hopes.
2. Xtravagant had to be eased down in the Bobbie Lewis after Oliver was concerned with his action in the running. Recorded some huge victories in New Zealand earlier in the year winning a G1 sprint against his own age by eight lengths. Give another chance.
9. Tivaci resumed nicely when 1.8 lengths second in the Bobbie Lewis. Finished 2.3 lengths behind Counterattack when even with him on the weights that day. Expect him to get a forward position behind the leaders from barrier 3. In with a chance.
12. Thames Court was solid in both runs this preparation against the girls running close seconds on both ocassions. Some tougher opposition here but can't dismiss.
4. Fast'N'Rocking had a tough assignment last start when jumped widest at Moonee Valley with 59kg and faded to run last. Runs before that were good carrying weight. Finished 1.7 lengths away in this race last year. Six attempts at 1400m now for only one third is a slight concern.
13. Telopea wasn't disgraced at her last start when she jumped from barrier 16, eased to the back with little pace on. Had the fastest final 400m split in the race. Unlucky third before that. She has a good record over this distance. Could surprise.
16. Mr Individual has raced well in easier grades recently. Great run last start when jumping from barrier 13 with 58.5 kg and finishing a neck away second. Not hopeless.
10. Badawiya resumed okay. Won well second-up last prep. Gets in well with the weights and excellent record this distance. Capable of running a good race.
14. Well Sprung is improving nicely this preparation. But up in class here and this distance is new territory.
5. Charmed Harmony doesn't appear to be close to his best form these days.
3. Rangipo is hard to have on his only start in Australia finishing well behind Counterattack over 1350m at Doomben.
15. Jungle Edge. Recent efforts aren't too bad. Excuses last week after leading with strong pace. Consistent over 1200m before that. Barrier doesn't help his chances here.
1st Bon Aurum looks a good thing in this race at $6.50 fixed odds. A genuine improver, well drawn for a good run and has ability.
2nd Counterattack will be very hard to beat after showing he is back stronger than ever in the Theo Marks.
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