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Brisbane galloper Solzhenitsyn will undergo a jockey change for their second-up run of the spring with Sydney’s Nash Rawiller to ride them in the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on Sunday.
For the Rob Heathcote-trained gelding’s resuming run at Rosehill on September 14 Jason Collett guided Solzhenitsyn to a two and a half lengths away second behind Riva De Lago in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m).
While far from upset with Collett’s ride, Heathcote and connections are hoping for a bit more luck on Sunday and will instruct new jockey Rawiller to ride them a little differently in the $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
“I’m certainly not critical of Jason’s ride but it was never the plan to sit outside Rain Affair,” Heathcote told AAP speaking of their Theo Marks run.
“Our plan was to be two pairs back, maybe even three pairs back but he jumped so well and Jason said after the race if he had his ride over again he might have come out a touch colder on him.”
Handing Heathcote just his second Group 1 trophy in the Toorak Handicap at the track last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Solzhenitsyn was also a brave third behind Moment Of Change in the Sir Rupert the run before last year.
They will be out to improve on that this weekend with Heathcote hoping they can produce the same brilliant start they did from the gates in the Theo Marks.
It is shaping up as a brilliant edition of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes this year too.
Getting over the defeat of odds-on favourite Atlantic Jewel who suffered her first career loss when second in the Underwood Stakes to It’s A Dundeel on the weekend, trainer Mark Kavanagh is likely to make a two-pronged attack on the Sir Rupert.
His runners will be last year’s third placegetter December Draw and his progressive Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Sheer Talent.
Sheer Talent certainly looks to have plenty of class too if their autumn campaign is to go by as they won the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes before running third to Ferlax in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and second to Philippi when stepped up to the 2050m at the Valley for the Group 2 Alister Clark.
Another likely Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes nominee will be the Peter Snowden-trained Albrecht.
Connections however have hinted they will probably not be accepted for and be saved instead for the $220,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington Saturday week where they will also be represented by resuming QTC Cup winner Galah and Sessions who won the Group 2 The Shorts first-up at Randwick over the weekend.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2013 nominations to be taken shortly.
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