The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, is a Melbourne Racing Club Group 1 Thoroughbred open handicap horse race, which is run over a distance of 1400 metres with the Total prize money for the race being A$500,000.
Race one saw slow overall times with its data showcasing the races were 1.33 seconds outside standard times, with Wise Counsel being announced as the winner. Vallance noted how poorly the race had gone for punters with the horses unable to break the 12 seconds barrier: “From a punting perspective you know the market is going to take a huge set against this race for how slow they have gone and for not being able to break 12 seconds.”
The winds influence on race times was brought to attention by Vallance attributing to slower overall times. The race was put into the trash section because of the lack of margins, with Clifton stating that: “I think for this campaign you can forget about a lot of these horses they will be racing through the spring and I think we can be against them going forward.”
A very different story for Race two saw an inside standard time 0.25 seconds with Michael Poy, jockey of winning horse Ancestry, managing to take off early ahead of the group, after being less impacted by the wind. Vallance noted how, unusually, the market and professionals got this wrong, Clifton attributing this to ‘a lot of these first up horses get really soft laid in betting and particularly they knew it was going to be running into that wind’.
Race three had a slower tempo at 0.10 seconds with Muntaseera taking the win, the horse travelling well, had a bit of cover from the wind with Clifton believing that this is a ‘Filly on the up’ with it now being the time to progress the horse into harder and more competitive races.
A good tempo in Race four saw From Within finish first place. Yet, Clifton took special interest in the horse which placed second, Front Page, who, according to Vallance, stated that the market thought he would ‘probably lead and break them up yet fell a length off the leader, with the strongest part of its race being the last 15 meters. Race five was 0.33 second out of standard time, a slightly slower tempo winner being Fabric.
Race six equaled the standard time slower tempo, with Odeum taking the win. A race the market predicted well with second place Aidensfield running well against its three main competitors who were too far back to mathematically make up the difference.
The winner of Race seven Orderofthegarter, who Vallance chose as his treasure of the week, progresses into the Caulfield Cup, after a fast paced race clocking 1.75 seconds within standard time. Yet, it didn’t come with controversy with Orderofthegarter being penalised 1kg for the Melbourne and Caulfield Cup and will now have to carry 51kg.
The main event the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Race nine saw another good tempo 0.40 inside standard time, with Behemoth claiming victory..
The last race saw an even tempo, equal to standard time, with Felicia coming out on top.Talking about Felica’s future, Clifton was adamant about the mare’s potential stating that she might have a future with group one next year in Adelaide.