Linton Skips Valley for Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2013

John Sadler’s smart seven-year-old Linton will bypass this Friday night’s Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley and be saved for the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse on Sunday instead.


Linton will bypass the Moir Stakes and run in Sunday's Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2013. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The Galileo grey was nominated for both the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and the $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on this AFL Grand Final weekend for their first-up run.

Last seen racing away with a surprise win as a $25 outsider in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane back on June 8, it has been confirmed they will be among the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes acceptances taken at midday today and not those for the Moir.

Linton hasn’t raced at Caulfield since their disappointing first-up seventh at the track in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m), that race now a Group 1 event, in August of 2011 when prepared by previous trainer Robert Hickmott.

With the Stradbroke having been their third win on the trot last season following back-to-back Adelaide black types, Sadler is hoping it is that form they can tap into again when they kick off their Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign.

The horse has been with Sadler since the winter last year and has enjoyed a number of good fresh runs for him including the Stradbroke which came off a 28 day break.

“He’s had three fresh wins with us and, hopefully, another one on Sunday,” Sadler told AAP this week.

The decision to run them over the 1400m first-up in the Sir Rupert is a somewhat surprising one as they will be facing some top class gallopers.

Sadler though is confident it’s the right decision with the likely capacity field ensuring the pace will be on.

“Hopefully, they will be lying down in the last 200 metres and he’s the one getting over the top of them,” Sadler said.

Among the other big name Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes entries for Sunday are six other Group 1 winners including Mark Kavanagh’s Turnbull Stakes winner December Draw, dual WA Group 1 champ Luckygray and this year’s Australian Guineas winner Ferlax.

Looking further ahead, plans are to keep Linton to races no more than a mile (1600m) with an eye on an international trip to Hong Kong in December.

Yesterday Linton was one of 40 gallopers nominated for both the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) back at the Valley on October 25 and the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.

“His campaign is spread out over a period of time. He’s a horse that likes his races nicely spaced,” Sadler said.

Sadler though has confirmed they won’t be going down that path and will instead go to the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Manikato Stakes Night before contesting the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the same day as the Patinack.

Stay tuned to to view the official 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes final field once released this afternoon.

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