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On pace runner Theanswermyfriend dosen’t have to face the wind when he takes on Group 1 company for the first time in the $500,000 Keno Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday.

Charmed Harmony, above, looks the likely leader in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Charmed Harmony, above, looks the likely leader in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Theanswermyfriemd led from start to finish last start to win the Listed $120,000 The Sofitel (1400m) at Flemington on September 16 but trainer Robert Smerdon said that the four year old would probably sit off the front running Charmed Harmony after drawing barrier eleven in the sixteen horse field.

“Charmed Harmony will lead on Sunday. He (Theanswermyfriend) doesn’t have to lead but he can roll forward and take up a position,” Smerdon told AAP.

“He’s drawn 11 which is not ideal up that hill.”

“He may be a better horse when he can lead and control it as he’s got a good cruising speed and can kick off that.”

The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes distance has proven to be Theanswermyfriend’s pet distance with three wins and two seconds over the 1400m but the High Chaparral gelding’s Caulfield record is not as good with only one win and two seconds form three starts.

Smerdon has reported that Theanswermyfriend has trained on nicely since his last start win at Flemington and is ready to step up to Group 1 company for the first time with Kerrin McEvoy taking over the reins from Craig Williams.

“He had a good gallop on the course proper at Caulfield on Tuesday,” Smerdon said.

“Ryan Maloney has been riding him all the way through and said it was typical work for him.”

“When he went to Flemington he had to win to get in.”

“He won and won well so you bite the bullet.

“I know it’s a big step but it’s the race we’ve been heading for and nothing’s happened to sway away from it.”

Theanswermyfriend is well in commission in the betting for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and is on the third line of betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $7.50 behind the West Australian galloper Scales Of Justice at $3.30 and the Darren Weir trained Tosen Stardom at $6.50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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