Robert Smerdon’s Group 1 placed galloper Under The Louvre kicks off another autumn campaign this weekend in the Bel Esprit Stakes 2016 carrying top weight for the Caulfield sprint feature.
Set to run as Caulfield Race 8 at 4:35pm (AEST) as the penultimate event on the Melbourne program this Saturday, the $120,000 Listed Sheen Group Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) has attracted a full field of 14 starters plus four emergencies.
Sitting top of the field and weights with 60kg is Under The Louvre drawn in barrier 13, possibly into 11, with Mark Zahra booked to ride the Excellent Art stallion.
From three Group 1 wins the five-year-old has three top three runs, most recently his third to Stratum Star in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) last September.
Under The Louvre is first-up on Saturday having won two of his five previous first-up runs and is targeting more elite level runs over the coming months with a return to Adelaide for a second shot at the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) first on the agenda.
He ran third to Flamberge in that Morphettville feature last autumn, and after looking to improve on that this time in he will also head to Brisbane for a shot at the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June.
Following Under The Louvre in the Bel Esprit Stakes field and weights for Saturday is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained That’s A Good Idea (59kg) drawn better in barrier six for his returning run and Caulfield race debut.
The next heaviest weighted on 56kg in the handicap sprint clash is Scott Brunton’s also 2016 The Goodwood-bound Tasmanian raider Hellova Street drawn wide in the second outside alley for his mainland debut.
Drawn the other end of the field with the inside run from barrier one is Nicholas Hall’s mount Pittsburgh Flyer.
The Lee & Shannon Hope-trained Street Cry mare comes off two Group 1 runs, the first producing an Oakleigh Plate fourth at Caulfield before her 12th to Griante in Rosehill’s The Galaxy (1100m) on March 19.
Saturday sees the four-year-old face an easier field, but Pittsburgh Flyer is yet to win from four runs at Caulfield and also goes up from 51kg last start to 55.5kg on the weekend.
Another four-year-old mare in the mix is Perth expat Sheidel, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor now prepared by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig.
She is a multiple Black Type winner in WA and has had two Melbourne runs this campaign including a close fourth behind Bullpit at Sandown-Hillside over 1000m on April 9.
Damien Oliver rides her this weekend, Sheidel seeing Caulfield for the first time but dropping from 55kg last time out to the 54kg Bel Esprit Stakes minimum.
Out of the same lead-up race and coming back from 55.5kg to 54kg on Saturday is the John McArdle-trained Hard Spun four-year-old Beau Rada (2nd), the in-form gelding to be ridden by Chris Symons from barrier 10.
And the horse that beat Beau Rada home last start, the Danny O’Brien-trained Speed ‘N’ Power four-year-old Bullpit is also accepted for the rematch at Caulfield shooting for back-to-back wins with Glen Boss aboard from a gun gate four draw.
See below for the full Bel Esprit Stakes 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2016 Bel Esprit Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 8 (4:35pm) – 23/04/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||23x523264x||UNDER THE LOUVRE||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||13||60kg||105|
|2||0x12x3268x||THAT’S A GOOD IDEA||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||6||59kg||103|
|3||113135x11x||HELLOVA STREET||Scott Brunton||Ben Melham||17||56kg||97|
|4||787x461x40||PITTSBURGH FLYER||Lee & Shannon Hope||Nicholas Hall||1||55.5kg||100|
|5||35×0594307||IT IS WRITTEN||Robbie Griffiths||Ryan Maloney||3||55kg||95|
|6||75x97570x6||UNANIMOUSLY||Matthew Dale||Damian Lane||12||55kg||95|
|7||1418×53103||HUSSON EAGLE||Patrick Payne||Ms Michelle Payne||9||54.5kg||94|
|9||1x24111x34||SHEIDEL||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||8||54kg||97|
|10||7820x8800x||GIRL GUIDE||Ciaron Maher||Dean Yendall||15||54kg||95|
|11||x61603100x||OUR NKWAZI||Shawn Mathrick||Dwayne Dunn||14||54kg||92|
|12||1921722512||BEAU RADA||John McArdle||Chris Symons||10||54kg||91|
|13||2610812651||BULLPIT||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||4||54kg||91|
|14||1143x3860x||JAVA||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Patrick Moloney||11||54kg||90|
|15e||125×972827||LONROCKSTAR||John Sadler||James Winks||18||54kg||89|
|16e||8x2152911x||WE’VE GOT THIS||Greg Eurell||Craig Newitt||2||54kg||87|
|17e||48x653113x||NOZOMI||Lee & Anthony Freedman||James Winks||5||54kg||86|