A capacity field of middle-distance sprinters will lineup at Caulfield on Saturday for a crack at the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m)
Last year’s winner Behemoth is back to defend his crown, but he’ll have his work cut out against the likes of three-time Group 1 winner Probabeel, and current race favourite, Beau Rossa.
Horses priced at single figures have dominated this race in recent years, but there really is a case to be made for several at longer odds.
For our thoughts on each runner, check out our 2021 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Preview here!
Defending champion Behemoth takes a similar path into this year’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes after putting away several of the countries top weight-for-age horses last time out in the Memsie.
All three of his Group 1 wins have come over this track and trip, and there’s no doubt he’s one of the major players with some fitness now on his side.
Six time winner Craig Williams rode him to perfection in this race last year, and from barrier 3, they should enjoy another lovely run in transit just off the speed.
Probabeel added a third Group 1 win to her resume over this track and trip in the Futurity Stakes during the autumn.
Since then, she’s gone on to run a very narrow second to Nettoyer in the Queen of the Turf, before resuming three weeks ago for a win in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes over 1200m.
This is a step up in grade, but barrier 2 should see her doing her best work late under last week’s Makybe Diva Stakes winner Brett Pebble.
Streets Of Avalon
It’s been over a year since Streets Of Avalon won the C.F. Orr Stakes over this track and distance, but there could be some improvement to come based on his last start fifth at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes.
This is the preferred distance for the son of Magnus, and if Damien Oliver can offset the wide alley, he could be worth including in multiples.
Dalasan is having his second run back following a rough showing two weeks ago in the Chautauqua Stakes at Moonee Valley.
This is a major step up in class and the wide draw makes him tough to have.
Beau Rossa has continued his rise through the grades in style, ultimately silencing his doubters with a narrow runner-up to Behemoth in the Memsie three weeks ago.
The son of Unencumbered has found the money in each of his last three starts and has also returned a place in two runs at Caulfield.
Fitter for three runs back and racing from an ideal alley, he looks a top chance.
Buffalo River makes his return to the races following yet another frustrating autumn campaign.
Michael Maroney’s six-year-old has made a habit of running a place more often than not, as was the case when he finished a clear second to Mr Quickie over the mile in the Toorak Handicap last year.
On the plus side, he tends to do his best racing first-up from a spell, and if the tempo suits up front, he might figure somewhere in the minors.
Sierra Sue is unplaced in two starts at Group 1 level, but does have scope to improve after finishing only 1.5L to Superstorm last time out in the Feehan Stakes at The Valley.
The five-year-old mare is a four-time winner over this trip and loves racing with some sting out of the track, making her a worthwhile place chance.
Groundswell resumed for a narrow win at Flemington over 1400m last month but struggled to replicate that performance over the same trip at Caulfield in his latest.
His track record over this the reads well, but this still looks tough in what is his first look at Group 1 level since 2019.
The lightly-raced Aysar is having his third run back after showing improvement for fourth in the Chautauqua Stakes at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago.
The four-year-old overcame a wide run to finish strongly through the line and looks capable of going on with it now after running a narrow second to Ole Kirk in last year’s Caulfield Guineas.
Irish Flame has made a handful of Group 1 starts over in New Zealand but is yet to face the elite level since journeying to Australia last year.
He has found the money in each of his last three starts, but still looks a long chance stepping up in grade.
Romancer has been kept fresh for Saturday’s run following a last start fifth at Moonee Valley.
The start prior saw him finish a length second to The Astrologist in the Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington, but the fact he’s 0-3 at Caulfield makes him tough to have.
Samizdat has made the journey from Western Australia for his first look at Melbourne.
The gelding by Not A Single Doubt won the Belmont Newmarket in his first run back as a $6.00 chance, and also ran home well for third behind talented stayer Too Close The Sun in the Idyllic Prince Stakes.
Strips fitter for two runs back but would prefer to see.
Amish Boy exploded with a big run to finish second behind Masked Crusader first-up in The Heath at Caulfield last month.
He’s returned a place in four of his five starts over 1400m and also placed third in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington earlier in the year.
This is a big rise in grade, but he’s not out of it.
Dice Roll rattled off three successive wins across Caulfield, Sandown and Flemington earlier in the year before running fourth in the Listed Winter Championship over the mile.
He’s got the wins on the board over 1400m to suggest he can run well, but the fact this is his first start at Group 1 level in Australia makes him tough to entertain.
Regardsmaree loves racing at Caulfield and returns on the quick backup after finishing a length fifth to Harbour Views in the Tontonan Stakes at Flemington over 1400m.
Looks tested at this level.
Michael Moroney’s lightly-raced four-year-old Poland is back for another crack at a Group 1 after finding himself outclassed in the Caulfield Guineas last year.
The son of So You Think was no match against weaker company in The Heath three weeks ago and will likely find this even tougher.
I’m Thunderstruck is the first emergency and looks capable of running a race if he earns a spot in the field.
The son of Shocking unleashed a huge turn of foot to make it two on the trot at Flemington back in July, while he also has an unblemished record first-up from a spell.