Trainer Robert Smerdon considers the 1300m of the Group 3 $150,000 Kevin Heffernan Stakes at Sandown on Saturday is the right distance for his Group 1 winning sprinter Under The Louvre.
Smerdon deliberately bypassed the sprints down the Flemington straight over the Melbourne Cup Carnival with Under The Louvre who he considers a better horse going around a corner.
The two races down the Flemington straight that Under The Louvre could have run in were the Group 2 $300,000 tab Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day or Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) last Saturday.
“We have kept him for here (Sandown) as opposed to racing him Cup week because his straight track record is not as good as his going around a turn,” Smerdon told racing.com.
“1300m is the right trip for him. If he draws wide he goes back near the rear, if he draws low he can take a better spot.”
“He is ticking over quite well and his gallop here this morning (Tuesday) was typical of him and he seems well in himself.”
Under The Louvre scored his first Group 1 win when he beat Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival but hasn’t been to the winner’s stall from four Spring Carnival runs since.
The six year old resumed for a second to Redzel in the Group 3 $150,000 The Resimax Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 27 and then ran fourth to Faatinah in the Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 10.
At his next start Under The Louvre just missed the placings again when fifth to The Quarterback in the Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 2 followed by another fifth to Rebel Dane in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21.
Stradbroke Handicap winning jockey Dwayne Dunn is back aboard Under The Louvre who has drawn barrier five in the eleven horse Kevin Heffernan Stakes field.