This weekend's Sunday racing will certainly give us a lift in to the Melbourne Spring Carnival with the running of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. Run over 1400m at Caulfield; with only a 250m-meter run to the first corner, a good place to start might be with a good barrier!
The highly rated Peter Moody trained 4 year old, Dissident, will be the likely favourite with TAB.com.au, and rightly so as his 2 wins from a spell have been dominant. However, in this week's race he has to come back in distance from the 1600m of the Makybe Diva at Flemington to the 1400m at Caulfield and will meet a few of his rivals much worse off at the weights.
Check out the full TAB.com.au market for the Rupert Clarke Stakes here
For instance the Team Hawkes colt, Atlante, met Dissident in the Randwick Guineas at equal weights and was beaten 3.4 lengths and this week will meet him 6kgs better. Atlante looks to have come back beautifully from a spell, with his win at Mooney Valley full of merit, although the margin was narrow. Don’t forget he got within a head of Dissident in the Hobartville after being on the worst part of the track. He has drawn well in barrier 4 and has the speed to box seat, he is a real contender.
Dissident is trained by one of the greatest trainers Australia has ever seen in Peter Moody, did I mention he is a Queenslander too. Interestingly, Moody has been quoted saying he is not training him for this race – regardless from barrier 5 and being an on the speed horse, he can probably train himself to win. Or is he concentrating on bigger things like the Cox plate?
When writing this piece the Caulfield track is rated a Dead 5, which would be ideal however there is the possibility of rain which would make things difficult for the Gai Waterhouse trained Sweet Idea, who although having won on a heavy track and possesing the courage of a lion, usually prefers a firm surface.
Cluster has the carpark draw but has the little wizz banger Timmy Clarke on board at 52kg. Not many can beat the genius placement of horses that Team Snowden continually reap the benefits of. Cluster’s win in the Group 2 Theo Marks at Rosehill was super. He settled last, peeled out at the top of the straight and just went boom snap at the hundred-meter mark. A beautiful colt by Fastnet Rock if he were to have a bumper Spring the dollars signs could be spinning.
Don’t forget his brother from another mother Bull Point from Australia’s leading stable, Chris Waller. He was pretty close behind him in the Theo Marks and "The Pumper" Jimmy Cassidy will be keen to teach the boys a trick or two, vintage style.
I best talk a little about the Darren Weir trained Trust in a Gust. You can't go wrong following this stable at the moment. He was beaten in a bob of the head by Atlante at Moonee Valley and then bolted in at Caulfield over 1400m last time out. Sure it was only an open handicap but I love a horse that is good at the track and distance. Maybe it’s all that high altitude training?
In closing, I will take a risk on Moody’s galloper and tip Atlante ahead of Dissident, Cluster and Trust in a Gust. Yeah a real blokey first four for a beefed up Group 1. Got to love it!
The Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes is set to jump at 4:40pm (AEST). Make sure you tune in to Sky Racing to catch all the action!