The in-form Voodoo Lad can give talented young rider Chris Parnham his first Group 1 winner in the $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Parnham is confident that if Voodoo Lad can deliver a repeat performance that saw him come from last to win the Listed $120,000 SAJ Fruit Supply Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 3, he will be winning again.
“He was outstanding at Moonee Valley,” Parnham told AAP.
“Obviously he’s got to take the next step to Group One company, but it’s probably not a genuine Group One race. It’s probably a Group Two field.
“If he can produce a similar run to Moonee Valley, I think he’ll be very hard to beat.
“I have never had a horse let down with me like that. I haven’t ridden a lot of good horses, and I’m not saying he’s the best horse I’ve ridden, but that last furlong of the race at Moonee Valley was electrifying.”
Voodoo Lad and Parnhman are chasing a hat trick after the pair combined to win the Listed $120,000 Lister Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 13 before their Moonee Valley victory and trainer Darren Weir has kept the five year old up to the mark with a quiet jump out at Casterton on Tuesday.
“I’m really looking forward to Saturday,” Parnham said.
While Voodoo Lad and Parnham are lining up for their third win on the trot, Weir can claim his third successive win in the Rupert Clarke Stakes if the Voodoo Lad can collect the winning cheque.
Weir was in the winner’s stall last year with Stratum Star which followed the victory in 2014 of Trust In A Gust.
Voodoo Lad has eased slightly in the betting for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and after opening at $4.40 with Ladbrokes.com.au has eased to be the second favourite at $5 behind the Chris Waller trained Counterattack who heads the market order at $3.50.
On the third line of betting is the Ciaron Maher trained last start winner Bon Aurum at $6.50 ahead of Stradbroke Handicap winner and unlikely starter Under The Louvre at $7.50.
Trainer Robert Smerdon announced that the top weight Under The Louvre wold be a non-runner because of the big weight and the wide barrier, but the six year old was still listed in the field on Friday afternoon
Market order for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Counterattack, $5 Voodoo Lad, $6.50 Bon Aurum, $7.50 Under The Louvre, $10 Tivaci, $11 Xtravagant, $21 Thames Court, Mr Individual, $26 Telopea, $31 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, $34 Badawiya, Well Spring, $41 Charmed Harmony, $51 Rangipo, $61 Jungle Edge.