Darren Weir’s consistent performer Stratum Star will need more than his fair share of luck if he is going to win the Group 1 $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Weir is chasing back to back wins in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes after claiming the trophy last year with Trust In A Gust but admits he would have been more confident had the four year old drawn a gate in the first half of the draw instead of eighteen in the original draw, but could come into fifteen at final scratching time.
“If he drew a gate he’d just have landed there and made his own luck,” Weir told the Sportsman.
“I’m really happy with the way he has been going.”
Stratum Star has been one of the most consistent horses in Weir’s stable and has only missed a place once from his last thirteen starts.
His 2015 Melbourne Autumn Carnival form was first class without a visit to the winner’s stall and included a third to Wandjina in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington followed by a second to Chill Party in the Group 2 $200,000 William Hill Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“He is very honest and always runs well. With a horse like him it doesn’t seem to matter what race you put him in, he runs well,” Weir said.
Stratum Star kicked off his Spring Carnival campaign with a seventh to Setinum in the Listed $120,000 Winslow Group Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 15 and then ran a great race when third behind Boban and Entirely Platinum in the Group 1 weight for age $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29.
Weir can see the handicap conditions of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes will suit Stratum Star better after he found the weight for age star Boban too strong on the line in the Memsie Stakes.
“I thought he had his chance to win last start but his run might have come to an end with fifty metres to do so coming back to a handicap will suit,” Weir said.
“He is still a stallion so we are trying to win a Group 1.”
“All you can do is put them into work and hope they end up running well and that’s exactly what he has done.”
Weir will also saddle up top weight Lucky Hussler who already has a Group 1 win to his credit after taking out the Group 1 $400,000 Brown Baldwin William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in March.
The premiership winning trainer was happy with Lucky Hussler’s first up fourth to Churchill Dancer in the Group 2 $200,000 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 12.
“He is is going great. I thought he ran really well first up,” Weir Said.
“He wasn’t as wound up as he was when he won the William Reid first up, we targeted that race, but he is more a Toorak sort of horse.”
Stratum Star is listed as one of the top fancies for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and is marked as the third favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au at $7 behind Disposition at $3.80 and Under The Louvre at $5.50 while Lucky Hussler is marked at $13.
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.