Melbourne horseman Robert Smerdon is confident a month off between runs for his galloper Under The Louvre will be ideal as the four-year-old prepares for this Saturday’s 2015 The Goodwood in Adelaide.
Smerdon has two nominees for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville Racecourse, the feature Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival attracting 38 early nominations.
Smerdon has enjoyed success in the classic twice preparing previous The Goodwood winners Bomber Bill (2003) and more recently Lone Rock (2011), his best chance in 2015 at a third trophy being Excellent Art four-year-old Under The Louvre.
The stallion has won eight of his past 14 starts to date, the latest win being in the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on March 28.
Group 1 performed in Melbourne having finished second to Shamal Wind in the Oakleigh Plate back in late February, Under The Louvre was last seen running second to Amorino in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) at his home Caulfield track on April 18.
He was put through his paces ahead of The Goodwood on Monday morning however, Smerdon pleased with the hit-out from the 1200m specialist who was ridden by Mark Zahra in the morning’s opening heat at Cranbourne over 800m.
“He was just having a blowout, we didn’t want to be too tough on him this close to a race,” Smerdon told Racenet, speaking after the trial performed on a Heavy (8) track that was won by the Robbie Laing-trained Sinhala in 46.97 seconds.
“The Goodwood will be a month between runs and he performs well off that.”
To date Under The Louvre has had 10 runs over the distance he’s over on Saturday for a tidy record six wins and three thirds, promising form ahead of his latest Group 1 test.
The bookies agree and are keeping the horse safe in The Goodwood betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au currently paying $9 for him to win with the Phillip Stokes-trained returning Group 1 winner Hucklebuck the $4.80 favourite.
Zahra will retain the ride in Saturday’s feature with Under The Louvre’s regular rider Nicholas Hall out with an injured wrist.
“He’s only had one ride on him and won the Hareeba at Mornington so he knows the horse,” Smerdon said.
Smerdon’s other Goodwood nominee Politeness meanwhile is rated a $19 shot at the title, the four-year-old daughter of Street Sense coming via a sixth to Miracles Of Life in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at the Morphettville track from May 2.
Before that the mare, who has winning form up to 1500m, was last seen winning the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on April 18.
Also running in the same 800m heat this morning as Under The Louvre for Smerdon was the Royal Ascot-bound Shamal Wind.
The five-year-old Dubawi mare was last seen winning the Oakleigh Plate defeating her stablemate by three quarters of a length and is on track for a shot at the Group 1 Kings Stand Stakes (1006m) at Royal Ascot on June 16.
“She was here for a day out, I didn’t want her fully extended. I’m pretty happy with where she’s at,” Smerdon said of the mare who is set to fly out on June 4 to Newmarket.
“The track is testing but to do what she did is pleasing, we didn’t want to overdo things.
“She’ll have another trial before she goes to the UK.
“The idea is to have her fit and ready to go when she gets on the plane.
“She’s got a great constitution and she makes my job easier, she’s pretty bombproof.”
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