John Sadler’s local Hussonet gelding Charmed Harmony is on track for a Group 1 run in the 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse at the end of this month where he will chase his fifth win on the trot.
The Caulfield-based Sadler looked at Memsie Stakes run at elite level last time out for his in-form six-year-old but instead ran the progressive galloper in easier company after he missed out on a run in the Group 1 as an emergency.
Charmed Harmony was impressive carrying a hefty 60kg to a one and a half length win over Jacquinot Bay in the $90,000 hockingstuart Handicap (1400m) in a sharp time of 1.23.36 seconds, which was faster than Chris Waller’s now six-time Group 1 champ Boban won the Memsie Stakes in (1.37.96).
Now plans are to throw Charmed Harmony, who has won 11 of his 25 starts to date for $351,920 in prize money, in the deep end in the $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) back at Caulfield on Underwood Stakes Day, September 26.
“He’s probably justified a start in the Rupert Clarke,” Sadler told AAP.
“Linton (fifth to Rebel Dane in 2013) should have won it a couple of years ago when he got trapped deep the whole way.”
Sadler has had three previous Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes runners over the years including the aforementioned Linton but is yet to have a horse finish in the money in the handicap clash, and chose the Group 1 over a run this weekend for Charmed Harmony.
It will be a big test for the horse should he make it to race day as he is yet to race in black-type let alone Group 1 company.
His form this campaign though has earned him a shot in better class as he has won all four of his Melbourne starts from early July through to the Memsie Stakes Day success, and will get into the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on a light weight.
“I said to (Racing Victoria’s Chief Handicapper) Greg Carpenter what would be the best race for him during the spring and he said the Rupert Clarke,” Sadler explained.
“Not that there’s any easy Group 1s, but it’s the easiest Group 1 of the spring [to win].”
Two of the past three Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winners were in very nicely in the weights with Moment Of Change (2012) and Trust In A Gust (2014) carrying 52.5kg and 52kg to victory respectively.
After the Sir Rupert run plans are to send Charmed Harmony to the paddock for a well-earned rest, having been kept in work since the start of the year, ahead of a likely autumn carnival return.
“The Rupert Clarke will be his swan song,” Sadler confirmed. “He’s been racing since February.”
Charmed Harmony’s first-up run was on February 14 in Sydney at Randwick Racecourse when he finished last to Darciwood over 1200m, after which he was found to be suffering from cardiac arrhythmia.
He also put in a below par run two starts later finished 10th to Bel Seal over 1400m at Geelong in late April on the back of a Sandown-Lakeside win three weeks earlier over the same distance in a BenchMark 90.
“He didn’t travel up to Sydney well and I shouldn’t have run him,” Sadler said.
“He had cardiac arrhythmia and then at Geelong … I still can’t work that out.
“He raced well either side of it but he’s got into a zone now and has a lot of confidence.”
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