The 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday has a real international flavour with the inclusion of the Godolphin owned Jungle Cat and Home Of The Brave.
Jungle Cat is the winner of races in England and Dubai and comes to Australia under the care of English trainer Charlie Appleby while James Cummings puts the finishing touches on the European import Home Of The Brave.
Godolphin’s retained English jockey James Doyle will fly to Melbourne to partner Jungle Cat who will carry the top weight of 58kg in the capacity field for the 1400m Group 1 Handicap while Home Of The Brave is second in weight order with 57kg with local hoop Mark Zahra in the saddle.
At final acceptance time for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes there was a full field of fifteen plus four emergencies with the Team Hawkes trained Showtime drawing the inside gate while last year’s runner up Mr Sneaky drew poorly at seventeen.
We have analysed every runner in the 2018 Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and our tips can be found below.
Jungle Cat is a world class sprinter with a Group 1 win on the international stage with his last start victory in the US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) at Meydan in Dubai on turf in March. Godolphin’s England based jockey James Doyle was aboard Jungle Cat in Dubai and flys into Melbourne to ride the Charlie Appleby trained seven year old in the Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. Reports are that Jungle Cat has settled in well at the Werribee International Horse Centre and will be one of the main chances.
Home Of The Brave
The front running Home Of The Brave will be hard to run down again if he is let to dictate the pace in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. The James Cummings English import found winning form when he ran his rivals ragged with a superb front running display to win the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes over 1300m at Rosehill last Saturday week. New jockey Mark Zahra will have no trouble taking up the running again from a midfield drew and the seven year old will be hard to run down.
Showtime scored a tough win two starts back over the same course and distance as the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes when successful in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes but will have to improve drastically if he is to be a threat this week after failing to beat a runner home in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes over the Caulfield 1400m course last start. Overall form is fairly consistent but can throw in a bad one every now and then.
The James Cummings trained Osborne Bulls is popular with the punters because of his high winning percentage of eight wins from eleven starts but is facing a huge step up in class coming off a last start nose win over 1200m in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield. A drop in weight will help his chances in a pressure cooker Group 1 environment.
Lite’N In My Veins
Lite’N In My Veins is another well performed galloper who is stepping up sharply in class and dropping in weight after finishing second in a 1400m Open Handicap at Caulfield a fortnight ago. Has drawn the car park and hard to see him threatening here.
The Patrick Payne trained Widgee Turf has been racing consistently in weaker company with a first class effort two starts back over the same course and distance as the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes when third to Showtime in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes. The five year old then ran second with 59kg in the 1400m Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville Parks. Will be doing it tough from the outside barrier in the fifteen horse field.
Hellova Street is yet to be tested at Group 1 level and hard to see him threatening here on his last start third down the Flemington straight in the Listed Victorian Sprint Series Final.
Land Of Plenty
Land Of Plenty is the first of a possible three runners for trainer Daren Weir in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. The Stratum five year old has shown plenty of potential in the past and is coming off a last start win over 1200m at The Valley in the Listed Bendigo Bank Stakes a fortnight ago. Up in class here and has a wide barrier to contend with but you can’t leave one of Weir’s out of the chances.
Sovereign Nation finished fourth in this race last year but his two runs back this preparation have been in weaker company with a last start second in a 1400m Handicap at Flemington in May. Would have to show drastic improvement to be a threat.
Dollar For Dollar
Dollar For Dollar could only beat one runner home two starts back in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes over the same course and distance as the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes but was back amongst the prizemoney with a second in the Listed The Sofitel over 1400m at Flemington last start. The Tony McEvoy trained gelding is yet to win at Caulfield and it is hard to see him reversing that statistic on Saturday.
The Lindsay Park trained Fastnet Tempest is fitter for one run back from a spell but is stepping up sharply in class on his first up fourth in a 1400m Caulfield Handicap three weeks ago.
Mr Sneaky was runner up in the 2017 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes behind his stablemate Santa Anna Lane but will need more than his fair share of luck if he is to go one better on Saturday after drawing off the track. The Anthony Freedman trained five year old hasn’t been far off the mark at his two runs back from a spell and was a last start fourth in the Listed Bendigo Bank Stakes.
Oregon’s Day has performed well at Group 1 level in the past and was only beaten three quarters of a length last start when fifth to Humidor in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes. Is a winner over this course and distance and if Michael Dee can give the mare a nice run mid race, she will be storming home down the middle of the track.
Place chances look best for Miss Gunpowder who is coming off a last start fourth in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes over 1400m at Flemington.
The Darren Weir trained Peaceful State was runner up to Grunt in the Group 1 Australian Guineas over 1600m at Flemington during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival. Peaceful State has been racing well in weaker company with two wins at Listed level late in the Autumn and will strip fitter for one run back from a spell for a second in the Bendigo Bank Stakes. Has the Weir polish and can’t be left out contention.
The first emergency Holy Snow wasn’t far off the pace with a first up sixth in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes over the same course and distance as the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. Trainer Mick Price has pulled all of the stallion’s extra race day gear off of him and if he sneaks into the field won’t be the worst.
Ozi Choice is marked as one of the outsiders of the field with Ladbrokes.com.au and it is hard to argue with that after the gelding was beaten nine lengths last start in the Bendigo Bank Stakes at The Valley.
Looks tested on his latest third in the Listed 1400m Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville Parks.
Tulip has been tested at Group 1 level in the past, including a third in the 2017 Golden Slipper at Rosehill but has been racing in weaker company of late. Is the fourth emergency and very unlikely to get a run.