International Group 1 winning sprinter Jungle Cat grabs the money when he beat Dollar For Dollar in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield today.
Jungle Cat made it back to back Group 1 wins after winning the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 31 and gave English jockey James Doyle his first Group 1 win on Australian soil.
Doyle has formed a great association with Jungle Cat with three wins on the Charlie Appleby trained sprinter from his last three rides on him.
Doyle settled Jungle Edge ($13) in the middle of the fifteen horse Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes field and started to look for clear running approaching the home turn.
The Godolphin royal blue colours could be seen pushing through the middle of the pack once heads were turned for home and Jungle Cat sustained a long finishing burst to nail the Tony McEvoy trained Dollar For Dollar ($21) in the last couple of strides.
Dollar For Dollar had to cross the field from a very wide barrier to take up the running and the six year old, with Luke Currie aboard, did an outstanding job to hold on for second along the inside fence, only a nose behind the winner.
The Darren Weir trained Land Of Plenty ($5) was running on late down the middle of the track to find third place while the $4.80 favourite Home Of The Brave was one length back in fourth spot.
Appleby has visited the winner’s stall on several occasions over the last couple of Melbourne Spring Carnivals and gave plenty of praise to his travelling staff for preparing another high profile winner on the road.
“”It’s been fantastic and it is all down to the team,” Appleby said.
“It is great to have a Group 1 winner here and a fantastic ride by James.”
“There was plenty of pace on, more pace than I thought there would be.”
“I thought Home Of The Brave would be the one but James followed him around and once he levelled him out and got stuck into him, he is not for lying down the Old Cat, as we call him.”
“It was always our plan straight after the Al Quoz to come here because Group 1 sprints, seven furlong races in Europe, there are not too many around and the ground is always on the easy side in France where we would have taken him and the conditions we felt were going to suit him here back on a sound surface.”
“He deserves his Group 1s.”