Darren Weir’s in-form galloper Voodoo Lad has opened narrow early favourite in pre-field Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2016 betting for this weekend’s feature at Caulfield Racecourse.
Two elite levels run in Melbourne on Saturday including the $500,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), which attracted 17 nominations on Monday.
Of those early entries two hail from the Melbourne Cup winning stables of Weir including the current $4.20 top fancy in the all-in Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Voodoo Lad.
The I Am Invincible five-year-old has won back-to-back Melbourne stakes races this time in with a first-up 2.25 length effort at Caulfield in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) in mid-August and success at Moonee Valley in the Listed Chandler Macleod Stakes (1200m) last time out.
Voodoo Lad is well-weighted for the Sir Rupert Clarke dropping a kilo from the Chandler Macleod win to 54kg as he attempts a trio of wins on the trot, and Weir shoots for his third straight Sir Rupert success following his victories with Trust In A Gust (2014) and Stratum Star (2015).
Hot on Voodoo Lad’s heels in the current Sir Rupert markets at $4.60 is the Chris Waller-trained Counterattack, the four-year-old Redoute’s Choice stallion also set to carry 54kg in the handicap clash.
First-up the Group 1 placed improver caught the eye when narrowly beaten by stablemate Mackintosh at Rosehill on September 10 crossing second in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
He goes up to 1400m for the first time since his seventh to Under The Louvre in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane on June 11, and races in Melbourne for the first time since his third in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
A further two nominees are also $10 for the win in early betting with Bon Aurum and Under The Louvre at an equal $7.
Ciaron Maher will saddle-up local Bon Hoffa four-year-old Bon Aurumn on the 52kg minimum should he accept for the stallion who drops two kilos from his winning weight at Flemington a fortnight back in the Listed Tontonan Stakes (1400m).
Under The Louvre is at the opposite end of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes weight scales with the top kilos of 58kg, the Group 1 winning Excellent Art six-year-old looking to improve on a close last start fourth to Faatinah at Flemington in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).
The next best in betting and the best fancied of the mares in the mix is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Tycoon Tara ($11).
The last Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winning mare was Response (2010) who carried 53.5kg to victory, the same weight allocated to Team Snowden’s smart daughter of Written Tycoon.
The six-year-old won back-to-back Randwick races over 1200m to kick off her spring including the victory over Le Romain in the Group 3 Show County Quality two back, before her last start fourth in the Theo Marks when beaten under a length.
Check out the latest all-in Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2016 betting odds below, prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au who will update markets to Fixed Win offerings once the final field is released on Wednesday.