The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes is Group 1 handicap over 1400 metres, run at Caulfield Racecourse during the Spring Carnival. The race is named after Sir Rupert Clarke, who was a former chairman of the Victorian Amateur Race Club (VATC), which later became the Melbourne Racing Club.
The race has been around since 1951, and has been through a number a name changes over almost 70 years. It was the Invitation Stakes until 1974, when the name was changed with a string of different sponsorships which saw it become the Marlboro Cup. Show Day Cup, Vic Health Cup, Eat Well Live Well Cup and the Dubai Racing Club Cup. It was renamed for Clarke in 2006, following his passing.
The race has held Principal Race or Group 1 status since its 1951 inception, and has always been run over 1,400 or seven furlongs. Its place on the calendar means it often attracts horses aimed at major races later in the Spring Carnival, as thus often boasts a high quality field.
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes
Caulfield Racecourse, 1400m
Group 1 handicap, three-year-olds and up
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2021: Pro punter preview with Trevor Lawson
This a good race! It’s a big field of quality and the pace will be good. Generally it’s on-pacer’s race.
Buffalo River will lead with Street of Avalon and Groundwell trailing. Beau Rossa, Probabeel and Behemoth will sit handy. Sierra Sue will sit mindfield-ish.
BEHEMOTH won this last year and drops in relative weight off that. Third-up from a spell again. Can run to best here and will obviously be right in it.
PROBABEEL was solid first-up when big in condition. Had an easy trial since. Flies second-up. Produced huge figure second-up in the autumn at this track and distance. Right in this.
STREETS OF AVALON rolls forward from the barrier. Better suited at this distance range, but only a rough chance here.
DALASAN is not good enough for this.
BEAU ROSSA ran well behind Behemoth last start when held up at a vital stage. Should’ve won that easily. Gets the run of the race from barrier 1 here.
BUFFALO RIVER is an in-and-out horse who does run well fresh. Well graded if he can run near his best.
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Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/D7DXs6UahM
— Racing.com (@Racing) September 15, 2021
SIERRA SUE is in career-best form. Has won two of her last three and arguably should’ve won last start when she had no luck. Will be strong late here.
GROUNDSWELL is an honest galloper who races up on the pace. Drops significant weight here, but is up in class. Maps well.
AYSAR was disappointing it’s first two runs. Strips fitter here but doesn’t look to have gone on from it’s three-year-old days.
IRISH FLAME ran well first-up when hitting the line hard, but is awkwardly drawn here and get an inexperienced jockey.
ROMANCER is racing honestly but lacks the class to win at this level.
SAMIZDAT has consistent figures in Western Australia but hard to see it winning a Group 1 here.
AMISH BOY had no luck first-up when held up at a vital stage. Can improve off that run here, but the wide barrier is a concern.
DICE ROLL has had a freshen-up since running well last prep. Well weighted here, has a rough chance.
REGARDSMAREE races honestly but loses Oliver here. Only has rough claims.
POLAND is not good enough for this.
I’M THUNDERSTRUCK has won its past two and is flying. Will be powering home but the wide draw is a concern if it gets a run.
This is a wide-open race! I’ve got the field $6+. For mine, Probabeel and Beau Rossa are the two standouts – I have them equal and think they’re the ones to beat. From there I have Behemoth, Sierra Sue and I’m Thunderstruck (if it gets a run) on the next line.
For Trev’s full take on the race and the rest of the meeting including betting advice, full rated markets and speed maps, check out Melbourne Ratings.
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2020
The 2020 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes was won by the David Jolly-trained Behemoth, which was ridden by Craig Williams. It was Behemoth’s second-straight victory in a Group 1 race after he also took out the Memsie Stakes. The Caulfield track was rated a Good 3. Dollar For Dollar, trained by the McEvoy stable and ridden by Luke Nolen, ran second, while McEvoy stablemate Pretty Brazen finished third.
|1||1. Behemoth||Craig Williams||David Jolly||1:23.84||5||60||$3.80|
|2||6. Dollar For Dollar||Luke Nolen||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||1.0||7||56.5||$26|
|3||13. Pretty Brazen||Luke Currie||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||1.1||10||54.5||$10|
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes: past winners
2019 Begood Toya Mother
2018 Jungle Cat
2017 Santa Ana Lane
2016 Bon Aurum
2015 Stratum Star
2014 Trust In A Gust
2013 Rebel Dane
2012 Moment Of Change
2011 Toorak Toff
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