Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes contender Deprive will be reunited with Sydney jockey Rachel King for his first attempt at racing’s elite level.
The James Cummings-trained Deprive makes his Group One debut in Saturday’s 1400m Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield having won five of his past six starts.
King will be out to maintain a perfect record on the progressive gelding when she rides him for the fourth time.
Damien Oliver rode Deprive when he finished second to The Inevitable in his Rupert Clarke Stakes lead-up in a 1200m Listed race at The Valley two weeks ago.
Cummings says Deprive – winner of the Listed June Stakes and Group Three Show County Quality earlier this year with King aboard – deserved his opportunity in the Group One handicap in which he has 54.5kg.
“Deprive has earned the right to run in a good race like this,” Cummings said.
“He was beaten at Moonee Valley by an amazing performance by The Inevitable.
“He loves winning, he knows how to win and I can see him charging to the wire.”
Best Of Days is equal topweight with 58kg, along with Black Heart Bart, and was at $16 on Thursday having finished third to Homesman in the weight-for-age Group Two Feehan Stakes (1600m) last start.
Another Godolphin-owned horse, international visitor Jungle Cat, won the Rupert Clarke last year with 58kg and despite the impost, Cummings believes the race is winnable for Best Of Days.
“On paper, this looks to be a winnable race with only one last-start winner entered,” Cummings said.
“In saying that, it is a Group One 1400-metre contest and no Group One is easy.
“He galloped well at Caulfield on Tuesday morning suggesting his fitness and attitude are sharp.”
The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Age Of Chivalry is the last-start winner in the race, having pieced together back-to-back wins over the Caulfield 1400m in a benchmark-88 and open handicap.
He gets in on the limit of 52kg, as does $3.10 favourite Begood Toya Mother who won six-straight races including the Listed Regal Roller first-up this campaign, before finishing sixth in the weight-for-age Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) three weeks ago.
His trainer Daniel Bowman has had Begood Toya Mother aimed at the Rupert Clarke for months.
“He won the Regal Roller first-up and got the rating up and then he had a good solid run second-up with three weeks into this,” Bowman said.
“It’s his second run at 1400 for the prep, third-up he’s as fit as he’s going to be and just peaking for his grand final.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au