Trainer John Sadler is hoping the track at Caulfield on Saturday remains on the softer side of a good 3 to give front runner Charmed Harmony every chance in the Group 1 $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Charmed Harmony has won his last four starts, all from the front, with his last three wins all on a soft 5 surface over 1400m at Flemington twice and a last start win over the same course and distance as the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
On Friday morning, Caulfield track manger Jason Kerr rated the track a good 3, which would be the hardest Sadler would want for his six year old to produce his best.
Sadler said that if the track did harden up, he would be reluctant to run Charmed Harmony.
“If it does actually get too hard – and I’m certainly not holding a gun at Jason’s head – but if it did get too hard I wouldn’t run him, because he is a horse that just likes that jar out of the ground,” Sadler told racing.com.
“Last week, even though it was a Good 3, it still had the jar out of it and if it’s like that tomorrow I’d be more than happy to run.
“If there was good give in the ground, I reckon he’s got a really good chance in the race.”
Charmed Harmony is facing his toughest test to date when he steps up to Group 1 grade on Saturday and his presence in the race will assure that a genuine pace is set, which gives the back markers every chance to run him down in the straight if they are good enough.
“It suits him to lead, so he’ll lead tomorrow,” Sadler said.
“Whether he can sustain that remains to be seen, but anything that takes him on I’d say it will be detrimental to them.”
Charmed Harmony had three different riders for his last four wins with Katelyn Mallyon claiming two victories, one at Caulfield and one at Flemington, before apprentice Tom Sadler took over the reins for an all the way win over 1400m at Flemington on August 8.
Ben Melham gets his chance in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and takes over from apprentice Dylan Dunn who was aboard for his win over 1400m at Caulfield on August 29.
Charmed Harmony has been steady at $11 with Ladbrokes.com.au since the final field for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes was released on Wednesday.
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Disposition heads the market order at $3.80 ahead of Robert Smerdon’s sprinter Under The Louvre at $5.50 and Darren Weir’s Stratum Star at $7.
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 Disposition, $5.50 Under The Louvre, $7 Stratum Star, $11 Lucky Hussler, Charmed Harmony, $15 Cosmic Endeavour, $16 Amicus, Rich Enuff, $21 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Amorino $26 Strawberry Boy, Gregers, Yesterday’s Song, $31 Abidewithme, Bull Point, $34 Petrology, Hopfgarten, $41 Leebaz, Worthy Cause, $51 Moonovermanhattan, $201 We’re Gonna Rock.