Robert Smerdon’s multiple Group 1 placegetter Under The Louvre is down in class this weekend at the same track and distance he crossed third in the Sir Rupert Clarke last time out and will jump favourite in the Moonga Stakes 2015 on Caulfield Cup Day.
The talented Excellent Art stallion is one of 12 older gallopers making up the final field for Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) that is due to jump as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:20pm (AEST) on the bumper 10-race program.
Drawn the outside alley with the wide gate to overcome is the early favourite in Moonga Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, where punters can lock in Best Tote or SP + 20% on every Caulfield race on Saturday, Under The Louvre paying $2.40 for the win.
The five-year-old is also the market mover backed in from $3.70 despite the draw, the locally-trained eight-time winner coming off some outstanding form this time in including his third to Stratum Star in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 26.
He was defeated only a neck in the blanket finish that day and returns to the 1400m at Caulfield in easier class on Saturday, Mark Zahra retaining the ride in the Moonga Stakes where Under The Louvre goes up a kilo to 56.5kg.
Four of his rivals are also paying single-figures for the win including Vashka ($7) drawn a treat in barrier four for Sydney-based hoop James McDonald who rides the John O’Shea-trained Exceed And Excel five-year-old.
Vashka is yet to race at Caulfield but is a dual winner from four previous 1400m runs, his latest start producing a nice Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) win in Sydney.
He carried just 53kg that day however and goes up to a hefty 58.5kg on Saturday, which is the challenge for the galloper likely to enjoy a box seat from the gate with a flying run down the straight to follow.
The next best in the Moonga Stakes odds are the rails-drawn Rock Sturdy ($8) prepared by Sydney’s Joe Pride, Sunshine Coast visitor Worthy Cause ($9) and Charlie Boy ($9.50).
Fastnet Rock stallion Rock Sturdy shoots for his first win since the Shannon Stakes in September last year meaning it has been over 12 months between victories for this Group 1 performer who was last seen running seventh of eight runners in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Choisir four-year-old Worthy Cause hails from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland but has form in Melbourne coming off two Flemington runs including a black-type victory over this distance on October 4.
That took the stallion’s record over the 1400m to three wins and a second from four attempts, excellent form as he heads into the Moonga Stakes for his first look at the Caulfield track from barrier six with Craig Williams in the saddle.
Charlie Boy is out wide in gate 11 with Blake Shinn aboard the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained five-year-old whose lead-up run was a sixth to Chautauqua in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) on Turnbull Stakes Day on October 4.
Check out the full Moonga Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds below provided by Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering an Extra 50% on Races 1 – 5 if your very first Fixed Odds bet salutes at Caulfield on Saturday!