In what is shaping up as a crack Sunday showdown at Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes has drawn a full field of gallopers.
Bringing the weekend’s racing action to an end as Caulfield Race 8 at 4:55pm (AEST) on Sunday, this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) features 18 confirmed starters.
There is also John Thompson’s stakes winning mare Peron who sits as the first emergency awaiting an early withdrawal from the handicap classic to gain a start.
To wear the number one saddlecloth and carry the 58kg topweight is the John Sadler-trained Linton.
Sadler opted to run the Group 1 winning Galileo grey first-up on Sunday over the 1400m as opposed to Friday night’s $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Last seen defeating defending Moir Stakes winner Buffering in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June, the now seven-year-old is heading towards a Melbourne Cup Carnival run in the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 9.
Linton is the only Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes acceptor first-up here and so will need to be at their best giving weight away to a field that boasts the fitness edge over them.
They are having just a light spring prep too with connections at Malua Racing eyeing a shot at the Group 1 Hong Kong International Mile (1600m) overseas in December.
The next heaviest-weighted hopefuls with 57.5kg are then the Mark Kavanagh-trained December Draw and Rob Heathcote’s fellow seven-year-old Solzhenitsyn drawn nicely in barriers two and five respectively.
One-time favourite for the 2011 Caulfield Cup Medecis gelding December Draw won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at Flemington that spring and was third in both that and the Underwood last year.
They ran a first-up 10th to Foreteller in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7 and will be challenged coming back in distance here.
Brisbane-based St Petersburg gelding Solzhenitsyn’s lead-up run was more promising when they were second behind Riva De Lago in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) in Sydney.
Solzhenitsyn also has winning form in Melbourne at the highest level though thanks to their half length Toorak Handicap success over the Caulfield mile last October.
The other Queenslander in the mix is then the Tony Gollan-trained Temple Of Boom (56kg), winner of last year’s The Galaxy, who is set to get the rails run from barrier one.
Out to break a 17 month winning drought the Piccolo gelding’s run two good seconds at Flemington this time in most recently behind Speediness in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) three weeks back.
Bobbie Lewis Quality winner Speediness is the only last start winner outside of Linton in Sunday’s clash, Craig Williams to ride the Colin Scott-trained Testa Rossa gelding from barrier 14.
Speediness vies for their third consecutive win too having also won the Scone Cup over 1600m back in May.
There are Group 1 performers galore in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes field too with other top-rated chances including the now Robert Smerdon-trained dual Group 1 winner in Perth Luckygray, Budriguez who dead heated with Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) back in March and the Jim Conlan-trained Ferlax.
Winner of the Australian Guineas during the autumn, Pentire stallion improved on a first-up seventh over 1200m at Flemington to finish second behind star mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) last time out.
Check out the complete Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights in the table below.
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2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 8 – 4:55pm (AEST) – 29/09/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x400x5111x||LINTON||John Sadler||Jamie Mott||9||58kg||110|
|2||10x83307x0||DECEMBER DRAW (IRE)||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||2||57.5kg||109|
|3||36x30715x2||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Nash Rawiller||5||57.5kg||109|
|4||x121x84x69||LUCKYGRAY||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||8||57kg||108|
|5||1x1117x72||FERLAX (NZ)||Jim Conlan||Stephen Baster||3||56.5kg||107|
|6||8511311×70||BUDRIGUEZ||David Jolly||Darren Gauci||12||56kg||106|
|7||50x7570x22||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Nicholas Hall||1||56kg||106|
|8||11x1240x14||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Glen Boss||16||55.5kg||105|
|9||40x76131x1||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Craig Williams||14||55.5kg||105|
|10||0x775010x9||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||4||55kg||104|
|11||9x8x225x13||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||17||54kg||102|
|12||x0x1611546||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||13||54kg||102|
|13||0x30987x00||YOSEI||Stuart Webb||Ms Michelle Payne||18||53.5kg||105|
|14||x791419x44||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Michael Walker||10||52kg||101|
|15||x1x5168x10||THY (NZ)||Peter G Moody||–||11||52kg||100|
|16||x121182x32||DANY THE FOX (NZ)||Mick Price||Dean Yendall||7||52kg||98|
|17||57x47x90x8||MUTUAL TRUST (GB)||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||Chris Symons||19||52kg||98|
|18||x1133x11x3||STRAWBERRY BOY||Peter G Moody||–||6||52kg||98|
|19e||113x1110x2||PERON||John P Thompson||–||15||52kg||96|