Race 8 at Caulfield tomorrow sees the 2020 running of the Sir Rupert Clarke stakes, a 1400m Group one race that throws up some amazing historical precedents which no other race in Australia can match.
For that reason it is my favourite race of the spring. It has been quite easy to predict in recent years, and certainly challenges the Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane as the premier 1400 metre handicap race in the country.
YEAR HORSE JOCKEY BR SP WT Age/Sex Form, Weight Drop, Stage of Preparation
2019 BEGOOD TO YA MOTHER (3) $3 52kg -7kg 5G 6th Memsie Stakes 1400m WFA (2.9L) Third up.
2018 JUNGLE CAT J.DOYLE (5) $13 58kg +1kg 6h- 1st Dubai 1200m G1 First up.
2017 SANTA ANA LANE D.YENDALL (6) $26 52kg- 5g- 4th (1L) M/Valley 1200m Open Listed (-3.5) Third up.
2016 BON AURUM K. McEVOY (5) $4.50 52kg- 4H- 1st Flemington Sofitel 1400m (Open) (-2) Third up.
2015 STRATUM STAR C.WILLIAMS 15 $8.50 54.5kg 4H- 3rd Memsie Stakes Caulf WFA (-4) Third up.
2014 TRUST IN A GUST D. LANE 9 52 $6 4H- 1st Le Pine Funeral Stakes Caul (-3.5) Fourth up.
2013 REBEL DANE G.BOSS 14 $5.50 55.5 4H- 4th Bobbie Lewis (-2) Third up
2012 MOMENT OF CHANGE L.NOLAN 15 $4.50 52.5 – 4G 3rd Tramway Handicap (-1.5) Third up.
2011 TOORAK TOFF C,WILLIAMS 5 $12 56.5 4H 5th Bobbie Lewis (-0.5) Second Up.
2010 RESPONSE C.WILLIAMS 5 $4.75 53.5 4M 2nd Cockram – 2nd Lets Elope (-2) Third up
2009 TURFFONTEIN G.BOSS 11 $15 55.5 5H 7th Premiere Stk-5th Bobbie Lewis ( +0.5) Third up.
2008 ORANGE COUNTY D.OLIVER 15 $9 54 6G 4th McEwen Stk-3rd Bobbie Lewis (-2) Third up.
2007 BON HOFFA V.DURIC 3 $3.80f 53 5H 1st Caul 1200m Hcp-1st Bobbie Lewis (0) Third up.
2006 REWAAYA C.WILLIAMS 1 $3.70 51 4M 14th Cockram Stk-1st Lets Elope Stk (-2) Third up.
2005 BARELY A MOMENT C.WILLIAMS 8 $8 52 4H 8th MV 1200m 1MW-LY-2nd Memsie Stk (-5.5) Third up.
2004 REGAL ROLLER M.FLAHERTY 11 $4.60 55.5 5G 4th Bletchingly Stk-1st Liston Stk-1st Memsie Stk (-2.5) Fourth up.
2003 EXCEED AND EXCEL C.BROWN 5 $7 52.5 3C 6th San Domenico-1st Up & Coming Stk-1st Roman Consul (-4) Fourth up.
2002 PERNOD K.MCEVOY 15 $12 53.5 5M 1st Cockram Stk
2001 MR. MURPHY D.OLIVER 13 $11 54.5 4H 9th Caul 1200m Hcp
2000 TESTA ROSSA B.PREBBLE 9 7-2f 58.5 4H 1st McEwen Trpy
1999 TESTA ROSSA D.OLIVER 12 5 54.5 3C 1st San Domenico-1st Up & Coming Stk-2nd Ascot Vale Stk
1998 LORD LUSKIN S.BASTER 8 33 51 6G 3rd VRC Winter Final-4th Sand 1000m Hcp-13th Bobbie Lewis
1997 CUT UP ROUGH S.KING 15 12 57 7G 3rd Manikato Stks-3rd Bobbie Lewis
1996 ENCOSTA DE LAGO S.KING 18 4 50 3C 5th MV McKenzie Stks-1st Ascot Vale Stk
1995 OUR MAIZCAY B.YORK 2 1-1f 52.5 3C 1st Up & Coming Stk-1st Roman Consul-1st Ascot Vale Stk
1994 POETIC KING D.OLIVER 2 2f 55.5 4G 1st Bletchingly Stks-3rd Bobbie Lewis
1993 BLACK ROUGE N.WILSON 8 16 52.5 5G 8th MV 1200m Hcp-4th Manikato Stk-4th Memsie Stk
1992 MANNERISM D.OLIVER 11 11-4f 56 5M 1st Let’s Elope Stk
1991 ST. JUDE B.YORK 4 9-2f 57 4H 4th Bobbie Lewis
1990 SUBMARINER D.OLIVER 4 8 49 4H 6th Caul 1200m Hcp
IN THE LAST 29 YEARS:
AGE / SEX
3C – 4 WINNERS
4G – 2 WINNER
4H – 10 WINNERS
4M – 2 WINNER
5G – 4 WINNERS
5H – 2 WINNERS
5M – 2 WINNERS
6H -1 WINNER
6G – 2 WINNERS
7G – 1 WINNER
(1-5) 12 WINS
(6-10) 6 WINS
(11-15) 11 WINS
(16+) 1 WIN
12 last start winners have won
8 horses were placed at their last run
9 horses unplaced (inc 4 x 4th, 5th & 6th)
I’m utilising 30 years of data ,and remarkably 17 winners in that period have been Entires (a horse or colt, not a gelding). That factor alone accounts for over 50% per cent of winners, and over 60% of those (10) have been four years of age. There have been four 3yo Colts, and two 5yo Entires also win in this period. In the 2014 years edtion of this race there were six entires engaged, who astonishingly finished in the first eight placings.
The other factor that has played a major factor in the outcome of the race is the leadup. The most prolific has clearly been the Bobbie Lewis Quality run down the straight at Flemington, two weeks prior). It has provided nine of the past 29 winners, including five of the last nine but none of the last 4 winners came out of that race, and a change of programming appears to now make that race far less of an influence. It is now run a week before this race rather than two and three weeks prior, as was the case.
Interestingly only one of those actually won the Bobbie Lewis (Bon Hoffa in 2007), though all bar one horse that has come out of that race (to win this), has finished in the first five placings. Four of the last five Bobbie Lewis representatives that went on to win this have been Entires, and three of those have been four year olds.
Mares do have an average record in the race with only four winners in the past 30 years, and none have come out of the Bobbie Lewis. Three of the four female winners came via the Let’s Elope Stakes.
Barriers have played little consequence in the outcome of this race so I think it is best not to be put off by wider draws. Stratum Star in 2015 (Barrier 15), Rebel Dane in 2013 (Barrier 14), and Moment Of Change in 2012 (barrier 15) are strong recent examples suggesting that if the horse is good enough it can still win from a poor draw. And barriers 11-15 have a better record than the inside barriers of 1-5. Barrier 15 has won four of the last seventeen editions and two of the last seven.Only 7 of the past 23 winners have drawn inside barrier 5 and only 2 of the past 16 have done so.
The weight range 49kg-55.5kg has provided 24 of the past 30 winners which might once again help us whittle down the chances this year.
Jockey Craig Williams knows what it takes to win the race having been successful on five of the past Fifteen occasions (oddly all have been 4yo’s), and Damien Oliver has won the race six times since 1990. Those two have now won it a combined 11 times in the past 28 years. That is a rarity in any horse race.
10 of the last 19 winners have been four year olds, as have 7 of the last 9.
24 of the last 28 winners finished in the first 5 placings last start
17 of the last 18 winners have started at $15 or less
13 of the last 19 winners have been third up into their preparation. Four have been fourth up and one has been second up, and one has been first up.
Former winners of this race have sired 2 of the past 8 winners. Bon Hoffa (Bon Aurum), and Barely A Moment (Moment Of Change),
The ideal candidate to win this race would have the following criteria;
- Aged 5 years or less
- Be a Colt or Horse (Entire)
- Have finished with a win or placing last start, or finished fourth or fifth less than 2L from the winner.
- Preferably coming into the race third up
- Dropping in weight from last start.
- Preferably be drawn outside barrier 4
- Be at starting odds of $15 or less.
Tempo and Track condition;
We should get a truly run race here with a better than average speed in the first half of the race with the likes of Dollar For Dollar, Streets Of Avalon, Begood Toya Mother and Banquo likely to go forward with Achenar Star and Tagaloa likely to be prominent. This should give every runner a hope in theory and it seems more likely that something will come from off the pace to win. It looks like being a firm surface at Caulfield but not one that should disadvantage any runner. A strong wind has been mentioned so it’s best to monitor what happens in the early races. If it is an issue then you might want to strongly consider horses that are well drawn and can get some cover in the race.
I’m not going to mention every runner here as I’d prefer to concentrate on the most likely chances from a historical perspective and some other races on the day (Logical Longshots)
BEHEMOTH– He should get the run of the race and is in super form. I think there is little doubt he will be in the finish and is a big chance for multi players. With the weight of 60kg I’m going to have to risk him but it will be no surprise at all if he does win.
AGE OF CHIVALRY– Is not one of my horses and I find the stable a bit hard to follow but he looks a live chance here. This is his distance, he has drawn well, and has been deliberately set for the race from 12 months ago. He gave Showmanship 4kg last start and that horse would be top pick here if he had run. He needs to find the line here but seems primed to do so.
PRETTY BRAZEN– Historically she faces a task (being a 4yo mare) but she is in form and her half brother Dollar For Dollar (another good chance here) almost won this race on the backup (7 days between runs) a couple of years ago. She did win the Sandown Guineas off an 11 day break in the Spring. At level weights last week she earned her win against Arcadia Queen and if that mare was in this race with the same weight I’m pretty sure she would be favourite. This mare has a great turn of foot and looks suited to this race, so the $18 is very enticing and makes her the best value in the race for mine.
TAGALOA– He is the first three year old I can think of that has contested this race for quite some time. My first thought was that he is poorly weighted not getting weight off the older horses on the minimum weight. The thing is though if you look back at the last 3yo winner Exceed And Excel, he actually gave weight to the older horses and was probably less credentialed at the time. Prior to that Testa Rossa (and third placed Redoutes Choice) were at level weights with the older horses. E & E dropped 4kg from memory and this horse drops 5.5kg. The 1400m is new territory but his breeding suggests it is an asset. I think it’s fair to say he probably can’t win going on the time he ran last start but he was wide and he importantly he is 2/2 second up and could improve massively here. And conversely his 2yo times form last Autumn do look good enough. He looks a very good chance to put the 3yo colts’ back on their pedestal this year in an edition that maybe lacks high quality down in the weights?
BANQUO– He really does look the weighted horse in the race and looks the perfect horse from a historical precedent being a 4yo Entire, in good enough form, and coming in third up. He meets Superstorm 3kg better for beating him third up, Pretty Brazen 2.5kg better for a less than length defeat in the Sandown Guineas, and Dollar For Dollar 1.5kg better for beating him home last week. The query is the 7 day back up (not much of a precedent historically) and whether he is finding the line well enough. He well and truly gets the chance to put that theory to the test in this race from a good barrier with likely cover.
I AM SUPERMAN– He looks super value and being a 4yo entire is a perfect historical fit. His left hand track record is far superior to his right handed one and he proved that winning first up. 21 days between runs is the minimum requirement for this horse and I’m not too worried about the wide barrier as he is an import and has a better record from wider draws (drew well last start but sat outside the leader with galloping room). Not totally sure if he is Group 1 quality or not but he gets his chance to prove it here in an astute stable.
I’m doubting that IAS will get a start in this, but whilst writing I think I have settled on TAGALOA as top pick but do find it quite hard to split him or BANQUO and PRETTY BRAZEN. The value looks to be with the mare though and there are more chances than I have mentioned here of course. I’m merely using history as the main tool for picking the winner. It has paid dividends in the past, and I’ve had at least something on 7 of the past 8 winners with most of them very good results.
- Pretty Brazen
Quite keen to take that Trifecta too.