A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Cranbourne’s Wendy Kelly plans to target next month’s 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse with her progressive stallion Late Charge this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
A winner of four of his 13 starts to date the five-year-old son of Hard Spun returned to racing at the Caulfield track on August 15 and finished a brave fourth just over a length off the winner Setinum in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m).
That was his first run since a disappointing 11th behind Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in October last year, after which he was found to have suffered grade three tears in his front tendons.
“He ran an enormous race and pulled up really well,” Kelly told AAP speaking of Late Charge’s first-up run.
“He did a fabulous job.”
Prior to the Toorak failure, Late Charge enjoyed two early spring wins including in a Flemington black-type over 1400m in mid-September and finished three lengths away sixth to subsequent Toorak winner Trust In A Gust in the same race he heads towards this campaign.
The $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) runs this year on September 26 and is firmly on the cards for Late Charge so long as he progresses through his earlier assignments without issue.
Kelly chases her second Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes success following the win of Bon Hoffa (2007) nearly a decade ago, the champion saluting as the favourite with Vlad Duric in the saddle to hand his trainer her maiden elite level trophy.
Leading up to the Group 1 win Bon Hoffa, who was also runner-up behind Orange County in the 2008 Sir Rupert, took out the Bobbie Lewis Quality.
The Bobbie Lewis is a race that has produced a subsequent three more Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winners and has since been elevated from its then Group 3 status.
This year’s $150,000 Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) runs at Flemington Racecourse on September 12, Makybe Diva Stakes Day, and is a likely Sir Rupert lead-up for Late Charge.
If not the Bobbie Lewis, Kelly said the Listed Sofitel Stakes (1400m) on the same day that Late Charge won 12 months ago would be the obvious target.
“Providing he runs well in either of those races, the Rupert Clarke will be his next run,” Kelly said.
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