Sheer Talent to Shine in Alister Clarke Stakes 2013

Former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark Kavanagh is on a role following the big Australian Cup win by Super Cool over the weekend and he will look to keep the good times going on Friday night when he saddles up the promising Sheer Talent in the 2013 Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Mark Kavanagh

Mark Kavanagh will target the 2013 Australian Derby with Sheer Talent this autumn. Photo: Taron Clarke.

The Redoute’s Choice colt was won of 13 three-year-olds nominated for this year’s $220,000 Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m), a nice lead-up race to the elite level 2013 Rosehill Guineas on March 30 in Sydney.

Sheer Talent has had six starts so far for two victories, their most recent win being in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 16.

They backed up 14 days later and were far from disgraced when overcoming barrier 15 of 15 to come within one and a quarter lengths of upset winner Ferlax when third in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).

Kavanagh is confident they will have improved from that run and will be suited to the tight turns at the Valley making them a top chance in the Alister Clark especially if they can get a nice draw for their first look at the 2000m.

“His Guineas run was as good as his Caulfield win and he’ll be even better over more ground,” Kavanagh said.

Sheer Talent will use the Alister Clark as a lead-up run for one of the season’s biggest races, Kavanagh setting them for the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 13.

The trainer has ruled Super Cool out of the Australian Derby saying they will be kept to the middle-distance events, despite having run second to Fiveandahalfstar in the Victoria Derby over 2500m during last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, leaving Sheer Talent to represent the stable in the lucrative feature.

“Super Cool was my Derby horse in the spring but Sheer Talent is the one that’s suited to the Australian Derby,” Kavanagh said.

Other notable hopefuls among the Alister Clarke Stakes 2013 nominations include consistent Host colt Philippi, the David Hayes-trained Strutt Stakes winning filly in Hobart Green Roller and Australian Guineas fourth placed Hvasstan.

The final field and barrier draw for all the Moonee Valley night races this week are due out on Wednesday.

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