Trainer James Cummings can see the front running Home Of The Brave handling the challenge of stepping up to the 1400m of the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Home Of The Brave showed a clean set of heels with an all the way win in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 8 and Cummings can’t see the extra 100m this week as a problem.
“He was a bold front-running winner last time and he was out in front at his previous start at Flemington,” Cummings said.
“I don’t see any issue with the seven furlongs here. He’s won over the trip on tough courses in England.”
“He took a few big scalps in the Theo Marks, so he deserves the chance to perform at Group 1 level.”
The Godolphin owned Home Of The Brave was sent to Cummings after starting his career in England and the seven year old set the pace at his first run on Australian soil before finishing second to Voodoo Lad in the Group 3 $150,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) down the Flemington straight on August 11.
Cummings then took the import back to Sydney when he gave nothing a look in with an all the way win over the Doncaster Mile favourite D’Argento and one of The Everest top contenders Trapeze Artist.
Home Of The Brave drew barrier ten in the original draw for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes field which is made up of fifteen runners plus four emergencies, three of which are drawn inside of Cummings’ sprinter.
Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra takes over the reins from Glyn Schofield who was on board Home Of The Brave for the Theo Marks Stakes win.
Cummings will also saddle up the popular Osborne Bulls who has drawn barrier eight with Craig Williams booked to ride.
Osborne Bulls is stepping up sharply in grade following his first up nose win in the Listed $120,000 Lister Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 18 but Cummings is certain that the five year old will be very competitive.
“Osborne Bulls is in great form and he’ll be fit enough even though he hasn’t run for a few weeks,” Cummings said.
“He was very fresh in his gallop on the grass at Flemington on Tuesday morning and we’re looking forward to seeing how he shapes up at this level.”
The Godolphin royal blue colours will also be carried by international sprinter Jungle Cat who has arrived in Australia under the care of English trainer Charlie Appleby.
Top English jockey James Doyle has also made the trip down under to ride Jungle Cat who has drawn nicely at barrier seven.
“He brings a good level of form to the race. Stepping up to seven furlongs should be perfect for him,” Appleby said.
“We’ve had this race in mind for him for some time, and he’s well-prepared for it.”
Home Of The Brave sits at the top of the market order at $4.20 with Ladbrokes.com.au for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, ahead of Osborne Bulls and Land Of Plenty at $6 and Jungle Cat and Peaceful State at $10.