Sunday sees the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes bring an elite weekend of sports and racing action to a close in Melbourne at Caulfield Racecourse, the Races.com.au team’s exclusive tips for the handicap clash detailed below.
Racing Victoria is making us wait around until the last to catch this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) which is scheduled to run as Caulfield Race 8 at 4:55pm (AEST).
A capacity field has been collected and in the lead-up the money is coming for Queensland-trained Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn who is into $6.50.
They trail just one other runner, Gary Portelli’s recent Show County Quality winner Rebel Dane ($5.50).
It’s shaping up as a stellar clash however with the other shorties in the markets being Strawberry Boy ($7.50) prepared by last year’s winning trainer Peter Moody (with Moment Of Change) and Australian Guineas champ from last season Ferlax ($9.50).
But punters looking a little further down the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes betting markets are going to uncover some real value.
To name just a few of the double-figure chances that have genuine claims for an upset Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes result are returning Stradbroke Handicap winner Linton ($18), the in-form Tony Gollan-trained Temple Of Boom ($18) and last start Bobbie Lewis Quality winner Speediness ($15).
So which horses should you back and sack?
#3 Solzhenitsyn ($6.50)
Will appreciate their return to Caulfield here, a track they haven’t raced at since winning the Group 1 Toorak Handicap over the mile last spring. Since then form has been credible including another Group 1 minor placing when third to Pierro first-up in autumn in the Canterbury Stakes. Won a Group 3 at Doomben before finishing under two lengths away fifth in the Stradbroke during the winter. First-up ran second to Riva De Lago in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill with 58.5kg. Drop one kilo for this and will be fitter for that run. Same distance, more suitable track. Also drawn well in five, a barrier that has produced three winners in the past 30 years.
#9 Speediness ($15)
In-form local Testa Rossa six-year-old who has the right lead-up form for this. Winner of the Scone Cup last run last prep, they returned at Flemington three weeks ago to beat a similar field, including Sunday’s favourite Rebel Dane (4th), in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis (1200m). That’s the right race to come via too as it has produced five of the past seven Sir Rupert winners. Craig Williams retains the ride and they go back from 56.5kg to 55.5kg. Williams is actually the most successful Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes jockey of the past decade having won four of the last eight winners. Speediness is also one of six previous winners at the track and distance.
#5 Ferlax ($9.50)
Another Group 1 winner looking to get back to their best, Jim Conlan’s Pentire stallion took out the Australian Guineas over the mile as a 3YO and has had two runs this season. Their most recent was a lovely effort when third to Cox Plate favourite Atlantic Jewel (undefeated at the time) in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes at this same track and distance. Expect them to build on that especially dropping from 58.5kg to the 56.5kg they’ve got here with a nice gate three draw to boot.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change