Trainer Robert Smerdon has elected to miss the Group 1 $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday with Under The Louvre who will now head to Sydney next week.
Smerdon said that Under The Louvre was facing an impossible task with 58kg from an outside barrier and would be better suited under the weight for age conditions of the Group 2 $300,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 1.
Under The Louvre drew barrier fourteen of sixteen in the original draw but with the early scratching of the Team Snowden trained Tycoon Tara, would have jumped from gate thirteen.
“You’re giving up-and-coming horses a lot of weight to start with, and from that barrier, he’s going to end up out the back, having to go around them and nearly mission impossible,” Smerdon told racing.com.
“We were mindful of the weight he would be most likely to get.”
“We were hoping something would come from interstate and push him down from the top end.
“We were prepared for the 58kg, but we’d pretty much made up our minds we needed a barrier from the 1400m start at Caulfield.
“It was all about drawing the right gate – if he’d have drawn the right gate, a three, four or five, we might’ve rolled the dice with him.”
Under The Louvre carried 54.5kg to victory in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival but has been lumped with 59kg at his two Spring Carnival starts.
The six year old stallion made up many lengths first up when second to speedster Redzel in the Group 3 $150,000 The Resimax Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 27 and then was beaten just over two lengths when fourth to Faatinah in the Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) down the Flemington straight on September 10.
A good performance in the Premiere Stakes could see Under The Louvre head back to Melbourne and take on the world’s best sprinter, Chautauqua, in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21.
“He goes right-handed, 1200m suits him,” Smerdon said.
“With his rating, he nearly needs to go to weight-for-age.
“If here’s here in Melbourne, he takes on Chautauqua. He won’t be in Sydney.
“What we were thinking was if he went well enough in the Rupert Clarke, we would’ve given him 27 days to the Manikato, and roll the dice against Chautauqua.
“It still gives him three weeks, so he probably still will end up in the Manikato if he performs well.”
Under The Louvre was rated a $7.50 chance for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au while he was still in the field with the Chris Waller trained Counterattack heading the market order at $3.70.
Also well in contention in the betting are the Darren Weir trained Voodoo Lad at $4.80 and Ciaron Maher’s last start winner Bon Aurum at $6.50.