Under The Louvre to the paddock before a Spring campaign

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Trainer Robert Smerdon has already sent Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre to the paddock for a short break before being prepared for a Spring Carnival campaign.

Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre, red and yellow stripes, has been sent to the paddock for a short break. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre, red and yellow stripes, has been sent to the paddock for a short break. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Under the Louvre was able to end his frustrating run of Group 1 placings when out toughed rival Black Heart Bart to take the honours in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.

“He’s already in the paddock enjoying a break,” Smerdon told AAP.

Under The Louvre had finished second to the Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart at his previous start when they clashed in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 21.

The Excellent Art five year old also finished third to Flamberge in the 2015 Goodwood.

His other Group 1 placings were a second to stablemate Shamal Wind in the $400,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield during the 2015 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and a third to Stratum Star in the 2015 $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in the Spring.

Smerdon said that if Under The Louvre had won one or more of those Group 1s, he would have had to carry more weight and probably would not have won the Stradbroke Handicap which is worth considerably more than the others.

“The Stradbroke was worth almost four times as much as one of the Caulfield races, so we’re quite happy to take the money,” he said.

The Stradbroke Handicap was Under The Louvre’s ninth win from twenty-nine starts and took his prizemoney earnings to $1,761,700.

With the Spring Carnival not that far away, Under The Louvre won’t be afforded a long spell and will soon be back in work preparing for the major sprints and Smerdon is eyeing off the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in October as a suitable early target.

“But he won’t get that long because the spring comes around quite quickly,” Smerdon said.

“We’ll possibly look at something like the Manikato Stakes for him as the 1200 (metres) around Moonee Valley might just suit him.”

Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn rode a brilliant race to secure his first Stradbroke Handicap win on Under The Louvre but was quick to get back to Victoria to chase his first Melbourne jockey’s premiership.

Dunn combined with Smerdon again in the last race at Mornington on Sunday when Kaye Club raced away for a four and three quarter lengths win in the 2000m BenchMark 64 Handicap, taking Dunn’s tally to fifty-six wins the season, two ahead off Craig Williams.

Williams was also in the winner’s circle at Mornington, steering Kinshachi to a win in the 1200m BenchMark 64 Handicap for the three year old fillies, taking his total to fifty-four wins.

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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