Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre has been given the top weight of 58kg for the Group 1 $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Robert Smerdon trained Under The Louvre carried 55.5kg when third behind Stratum Star and Disposition in last year’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and has since won the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival with 54.5kg on his back.
Under The Louvre also ran second to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 21 with 55.5kg.
The six year old stallion has two runs this campaign with 59kg in both for a second to Redzel in the Group 3 $150,000 The Resimax Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 27 followed by a fourth to Faatinah in the Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) down the Flemington straight on September 10.
The Chris Waller trained Counterattack is also among the seventeen nominations for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and has been given 54kg, 4kg less than Under The Louvre.
Counterattack carried 52.5kg when beaten eight and a half lengths when seventh to Under The Louvre in the Stradbroke Handicap so he will meet the top weight 2kg better on Saturday.
Counterattack has had one run back since the Stradbroke Handicap and produced an eye catching second to stablemate Mackintosh in the Group 2 $200,000 Task Retail Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 10.
Kiwi sprinter Xtravagant will carry the second topweight of 56.5kg and connections are hoping for an improved performance after the four year old failed to fire first up when last of twelve in the Bobbie Lewis Quality.
Damien Oliver rode Xtravagant in the Bobbie Lewis Quality and was again on his back in a 1190m barrier trial at Cranbourne on Monday morning on a heavy track and said that the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards trained stallion felt good.
“He got through the ground good and pulled up well, so can’t see any reason why can’t go ahead on Saturday,” Oliver told racing.com.
Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher will saddle up last start winner Bon Aurum who will only have to carry the minimum 52kg in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Bon Aurum found himself back in the winner’s stall beating Ulmann and Hi World in the Listed $120,000 The Sofitel (1400m) at Flemington on September 10 and he is a winner over the Caulfield 1400m course.
The Darren Weir trained Voodoo Lad is racing in terrific form and will be chasing a hat trick of wins with 54kg on his back after wins in the Listed $120,000 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 13 and the Listed $120,000 SAJ Fruit Supply Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 3.
Weir has also nominated six year old mare Telopea who is on the 52kg minimum and is coming off a last start eighth to Don’t Doubt Mamma in the Group 2 $200,000 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 10.
Voodoo Lad has been installed the early $4.20 favourite for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of Counterattack at $4.70 with Bon Aurum and Under The Louvre sharing the next line of betting at $7.
Early market order for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Voodoo Lad, $4.60 Counterattack, $7 Bon Aurum, Under The Louvre, $11 Tycoon Tara, $13 Tivaci, Xtravagant, $15 Keen Array, $17 Thames Court, $21 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Rangipo, $26 Badawiya, $31 Mr Individual, $34 Charmed Harmony, Telopea, Well Spring, $51 Jungle Edge.