Punters are confident local galloper Under The Louvre can go one better in Saturday’s G3 Moonga Stakes than he did last year when second to Lucky Hussler, and have made him the dominant favourite for this year’s edition to be run at Caulfield on Saturday. Under The Louvre, who was narrowly beaten at Group 1 level last start continuing his outstanding run of form, has opened up at $2.70 in advance of interstate visitors Vashka and Rock Sturdy at $7.50 each of two, with Queensland’s Worthy Cause at $10.00.
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1. STERLING CITY – Z Purton (3) 59.5kgs
Did all he could do first up in the G2 Bobbie Lewis Handicap when ninth (3.8 lengths) behind Churchill Dancer and as expected, found the company of the G1 Moir (1000m) far too slick, finishing last of thirteen and over seven lengths from winner Buffering. It’s been a long time since the former Hong Kong galloper last saluted and couldn’t see him breaking that drought here.
2. FAMOUS SEAMUS – K O’Hara (10) 59.5kgs
Four back the fence and had to wait a few strides as they straightened for the run home in the G2 Theo Marks, his first run back from a spell, before closing well to claim fifth (1.6 lengths) behind Winx. He wasn’t travelling as well as eventual winner Terravista, who got the run they both contested early in the straight, but again was good late when fourth in the G2 Premiere Stakes. Third up the perfect time to tackle the 1400m but will need to be at his best to counter the wide draw which will see him settle well back.
3. CHARLIE BOY – B Shinn (11) 58.5kgs
Great return under 60kgs behind the in-from Fell Swoop, who carried 54.5kgs, when second in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) but thought we may have seen more from him than he produced at his following run, the G2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m). He found a nice spot behind the speed but wasn’t able to capitalise on it, or pass the leader, and finished sixth (3.4 lengths) to Chautauqua. He goes up 2kg and draws poorly which, off his last start effort, creates some concerns despite the drop in grade.
4. VASHKA – J McDonald (4) 58.5kgs
No luck when posted there deep midfield two starts ago in the G2 Theo Marks (1300m) but was taken straight to the front at this next outing, the G2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) and defied all challengers to record a head win over God’s In Him. Ridden the right way last start and expect the same here again from a good draw. Jumps up a bit in terms of weight (5.5kgs) compared to previous run but is more than a handy galloper capable of meeting the challenge.
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5. ROCK STURDY – G Schofield (1) 58.5kgs
Have liked the way this Fastnet Rock stallion has hit the line in each of his two runs back from a spell. He ran fifth (1.8 lengths) to Rebel Dane over 1100m first up and was winding up nicely in the G2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at his only run since. Ideally would’ve liked to have seen him drawn out and not the fence – he needs the room to wind up before hitting top gear but, wouldn’t rule him out from running well on that factor alone.
6. WORTHY CAUSE – C Williams (6) 57.5kgs
Queensland galloper who took up the running in the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago at Flemington and just refused to be beaten when challenged by Turn Me Loose in the straight. He won that race by a narrow margin but will have to find more given the stronger quality of this field and that he has 3.5kgs more to carry.
7. CHIVALRY – J Winks (7) 57.5kgs
In behind a wall of horses as the straightened for the run home in The Cup Club Stakes, his first run back from a spell, and then got too far back in a leader dominated race won by Worthy Cause, the Paris Lane Stakes, at his most recent start. He has to be ridden cold and as his strike rate suggests, he has won two from fifteen, everything has to pan out right for him to figure.
8. UNDER THE LOURVE – M Zahra (12) 56.5kgs
Excellent in the G2 Bobbie Lewis, storming home to narrowly miss picking up winner Churchill Dancer by a head before looking the winner in the G1 Rupert Clarke Stakes only to be caught on the line by Stratum Star and Disposition. Remarkably, he has only missed a place once in his past fourteen starts and although he’ll get back here from gate twelve, he loves the Caulfield circuit and has to go into the selections.
9. SETINUM – D Dunn (2) 56.5kgs
Given a few weeks off after holding his spot to the line in the G2 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) when eighth (3.6 lengths) behind Churchill Dancer, before making good ground late from well back in the field to run fourth (3.3 lengths) in the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m). Leader dominated race last time out meant he was set a task from the back of the field. This race is harder though and at the set weights, he’ll need to produce a career-best effort to be winning.
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10. KUMAON – C Newitt (9) 56kgs
Just a run when resuming in a BM 90 (1200m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago, finishing ninth (5.3 lengths) behind Kaepernick, who ran third to Fast’n’Rocking at Caulfield on Wednesday. It’s been a long time since this horse has shown the form that saw him run fourth to Shooting To Win in the Caulfield Guineas last year and might be a bit of while still.
11. ULMANN – G Boss (8) 56kgs
Excellent return behind Fell Swoop when closing very strongly to run fourth (1.2 lengths) before holding his ground in the Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) at Flemington behind Worth Cause. Similar effort second up last prep before bouncing back to win third up, albeit a BM 70 at Lakeside, however the Sebring stallion has improved since then and ran placings behind Winx and Smokin’ Joey during the recent Brisbane Carnival. For those looking for some value, he wouldn’t be the worse pick.
12. CORONATION SHALLAN – D Stackhouse (5) 54kgs
Good return to racing with a fourth placing behind Kaepernick in BM 90 (1200m) at Moonee Valley a couple of weeks back. She made good improvement at each of her runs last time in which culminated in a head third to Amovatio in the Listed Winter Championship but may be aiming a touch too high here.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Vashka will take up the running here and by this time of the day, we’ll know if there is any bias to be aware of. He’ll give plenty of cheek after a strong win in the G2 Shannon Stakes and be hard to run down. Will give a great site at each-way odds but how can you go past Under The Louvre given his form and that he comes into this race with 56.5kgs, receiving weight from his main dangers. Outside of these two, think Rock Sturdy is set to peak with Famous Seamus the value hope.
1. UNDER THE LOUVRE
3. ROCK STURDY
4. FAMOUS SEAMUS