Rupert Clarke Stakes 2023
Distance: 1400m | Conditions: Handicap | Rail Position: True | Track Condition: Good 4
A Group One and spot in the All Star Mile is on the line as the Rupert Clarke Stakes takes place at Caulfield this weekend. A capacity field has been assembled with plenty of value around, so let’s try and find a winner!
Buffalo River will do what he does and roll forward from the gate which will naturally set a genuine Group 1 tempo. I Am Me and Bandersnatch won’t be too far away, nor will Vilana who maps to get a much better run in transit. We could also see General Beau and Skew Wiff get into a more prominent position.
1: Vilana (1)
Was a little plain in the Sydney Stakes but his run in the Damien Oliver was full of merit. Sat four deep the trip and continued to slog away to finish 1L from the eventual winner. Maps to get a much kinder trip here but will need some luck. Weight is the main concern.
2: I Am Me (10)
Classy mare who’s only really turned in one bland performance of the six this prep, where she raced keenly and never saw out the finish. Her win in the Sydney Stakes was strong, then she backed it up with a nice finish in the Manikato. Untested at 1400m but she’s rock hard fit, maps nicely and should be hard to beat.
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) October 14, 2023
3: Strait Acer (4)
His Silver Eagle run suggested he could go well in the Golden Eagle and didn’t he do just that. Deserves his chance in this now, is fit as they come, maps to get the right run and Zahra will give him every chance. Does he have enough left in the tank?
4: Bandersnatch (3)
Was a huge run in the Damien Oliver last start where he sat wide, on speed and just kept finding only to be pinched late by Cause For Concern. Was one of the better performances on the day, and if he can replicate that, he’ll be right in the finish again. Maps to get the right run and has weight relief. Big overs.
5: Skew Wiff (12)
Probably peaked on the run in the Tristarc before turning in a hugely improved performance to win on Cup Day, aided by the perfect Oppie Bossom steer. Barrier is a bit sticky but 1400m is ideal and I can’t see why she can’t go on with this again and shock at the price.
6: The Inferno (7)
Has been a long time since this guy has stood on top of the podium and his best is past him, but a step back out to 1400m might be the key. Both runs this time round will put him in good stead for this and I think he can be a big improver at odds. Don’t dismiss.
7: Ayrton (6)
There’s lots of noise about Ayrton’s chances here but can you trust him? Bounced back from his setback last year with a nice win first up at Flemington, before turning in an eye-catching display in the Damien Oliver. Maps better for this, 1400m a big tick but he’s burned a hole in my pocket and I’m off him.
8: Zoutori (2)
Has been raced sparingly this year and has been okay but hasn’t won for a long time. I don’t see him breaking the drought here.
9: Buffalo River (19)
Has put together a really nice campaign finding himself in the winners stall on multiple occasions, but is generally found out at this level and that won’t be helped by the amount of work required early from the gate. He’ll give a good account of himself though.
10: Chain Of Lightning (11)
Asfoora was way too quick for her first up but could see she was starting to get into her work late. Same story in the Rising Fast where she battled on. She’s been primed for this, gets right down in the weights and can deliver a blow.
11: Magic Time (15)
Was targeted for The Invitation and sat three wide no cover and looked cooked at the 300m, but continued to slog it out only to be beaten a nose by Espiona who is no slouch. If she can replicate that run she’ll take a world of beating.
12: Munhamek (18)
Ran into the back of a tiring leader at a crucial stage in the Damien Oliver and can make a big argument that he would’ve won with better luck. Got a solid record at the track/trip and if Currie can navigate the barrier will go well again.
13: Cause For Concern (8)
Racing well and burst through the pack to pip Bandersnatch on the line latest. Rock hard fit, J.Kah sticks aboard and can go again but I’ll be looking to others.
What an end to the day for Shawn Mathrick 👏
— Racing.com (@Racing) November 4, 2023
14: General Beau (16)
Was due a win and got it on Stakes Day last week. Quick back up for this to try his luck at 1400m and while there’s a query at the distance he looks a chance. Would be a shock if he won.
15: Crosshaven (5)
Flew home off a hot speed in the Rising Fast to just miss, but signs were good. Maps to get the run of the race where he should push forward to make his own luck, moves to 1400m and gets right down in the weights. Ticks everywhere for him and I think he’ll be in the finish.
16: Wrote to Arataki (13)
Won the Tristarc well last start but this is a big step up. Happy to leave out
Very tricky race here. I’m happy to spec I Am Me and Crosshaven.
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