Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra is looking to maintain his perfect winning record on Under The Louvre when he reunites with the four year old in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Zahra has had one ride on the Robert Smerdon trained sprinter for a win in the Listed $120,000 IVECO Melbourne Truck Centre Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on March 28 and replaces regular rider Nicholas Hall again in Adelaide’s feature sprint on the weekend.
Hall has been the regular rider for Under The Louvre over the last twelve months but is on the sideline nursing an injured wrist which has given Zahra the opportunity to get aboard the consistent sprinter.
“Mark’s the fill-in jockey but he’s had one ride on the horse when he won the Hareeba at Mornington so he understands the horse and has importantly had success with him,” Smerdon told racing.com.
Under The Louvre has been tested at Group 1 level on one previous occasion for a second to stablemate Shamal Wind in the Group 1 $400,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28.
Smerdon then gave Under The Louvre a month in between runs leading into Mornington before running second to Amorino in the Listed $120,000 Mypunter.com Anniversary Vase (1400m) at Caulfield on April 18 at his latest start.
Smerdon is happy with the conditions of the four year old stallion heading into the Goodwood and said the month in between runs will suit him perfectly.
“He performs well off that sort of preparation and he was there to have a gallop without being too tough on him this close to the race given the conditions were as testing as they were,” Smerdon said.
“I think it looks like a good race for him, things have got to work out on the day because he gets back off the speed but it does look the right race on paper for him.”
Under The Louvre is well up in the market order for The Goodwood and is on the fourth line of betting at $9 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Group 1 Emirates Stakes winner Hucklebuck is the current favourite at $4.60 ahead of Darren Weir’s William Reid Stakes winner Lucky Hussler at $5.50 with Western Australian sprinter Black Heart Bart the next in the betting at $6.