Peter Moody’s talented galloper Dissident will shoot for a hat-trick of Group 1 wins this season when he has his latest Cox Plate lead-up in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2014 in Melbourne this Sunday.
The Sebring four-year-old is already a triple Group 1 winner after the Randwick Guineas champ from last season returned with back-to-back elite level victories this time in.
This year’s edition of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, won last year by Rebel Dane, attracted 18 nominations on Tuesday morning.
The headliner of course is the aforementioned Dissident coming off a winning double in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield and the Makybe Diva Stakes over the Flemington mile on September 13.
Dissident is heading towards a run in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25, second declarations for which also closed at midday today.
Pre-second acceptances, Dissident occupied the second line of Cox Plate betting through Ladbrokes.com.au at a quote of $11 trailing only Makybe Diva Stakes runner-up Fawkner ($9).
There are then five other last start winners nominated for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes this year including the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Cluster and Hong Kong raider Dan Excel.
Fastnet Rock four-year-old Cluster won the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago and worked the opposite way on the Randwick track at home on Tuesday morning to prepare for his assignment in Melbourne this weekend, his first trip south of the border since racing in Victoria as a three-year-old for former trainer Anthony Cummings.
“He has raced in Melbourne but I never had him, I didn’t know what his action was like going that direction, I wanted to see how he got around the corner, to make sure he gets on to his right leg,” Peter Snowden told TVN this morning.
“I don’t do it often (working horses reverse direction) but I think it was good for this horse to get his eye in.
“Caulfield is hardest track of all for Sydney horses.
“I think he was fine, Timmy (Clark) said he was on the right leg, got around the corner well.”
Dan Excel meanwhile will be making his debut down under in the Sir Rupert Clarke following a nice Sydney trail on September 16.
Last start winner of the Group 1 Singapore Cup (2000m), the Cox Plate-bound Shamardal seven-year-old has been with trainer John Moore’s brother Gary in Australia for a little bit now and ran a good third behind Manawanui over 1030m in the Rosehill hit-out.
That form was trumped when the resuming Manawanui won the Bill Ritchie Handicap over the weekend.
Following the Sir Rupert Clarke, Moore confirmed the Turnbull Stakes on October 4 would be next on the agenda for Dan Excel before he tackles the Cox Plate.
“(He) will run in the Rupert Clarke, the Toorak Handicap and then the Cox Plate,” Moore confirmed to the Herald Sun.
“So far we are right on target and the only little hiccup we had was when we could not have a trial the previous week because of the weather.
“I would have liked to have got two trials into him, but Mother Nature caught us out.
“I think for the type of horse that Dan Excel is — he is very tough — it will just see him a very fit horse by the time he gets to the Cox Plate.
“I couldn’t be happier.”
Other notable Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes nominees this year include Dissident’s stable mate A Time For Julia coming off two second place finishes in mares-only 1200m races at Caulfield, the Chris Waller-trained Theo Marks Stakes runner-up Bull Point and Sweet Idea.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse confirmed this morning that the Sir Rupert Clarke was still an option for her recent Missile Stakes winning mare Sweet Idea who was last seen crossing second to Dissident in the Group 1 Memise Stakes (1400m) on August 30.
She’s tossing up between Sunday’s run, or the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley under the lights this Friday night which would be her first look at the track.
“Will she run Friday night or will she run Sunday? I just have to see,” Waterhouse told TVN.
“A lot of the owners have booked their trips already, so I just have to work out what is best for the mare and what is best for the owners.”
See below for the full Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2014 nominations, final acceptances for which close at midday on Wednesday.
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2014 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 28/09/2014
|1||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||102|
|3||ALMA’S FURY||Tony Gollan||104|
|4||ATLANTE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||101|
|5||BULL POINT||Chris Waller||98|
|6||CLUSTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||101|
|7||DAN EXCEL (IRE)||John Moore||114|
|8||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody||114|
|9||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||104|
|11||LATE CHARGE||Wendy Kelly||98|
|12||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||94|
|13||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||100|
|14||SCISSOR KICK||Paul Messara||100|
|15||SISTINE DEMON||Andrew Noblet||101|
|17||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||109|
|18||TRUST IN A GUST||Darren Weir||97|