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History Says - Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes

Carrying big weights to victory has not been a common theme of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, which is the feature event on Saturday's Caulfield program.

Jungle Cat did so under 58kg last year, but that was the heaviest weight carried to victory in the 1400-metre handicap since Testa Rossa set a metric weight-carrying-record of 58.5kg in 2000.

Fifty-nine horses have contested the Group 1 event with at least 57kg since 1975, with Cut Up Rough (1997), St Jude (1991) and Rancho Ruler (1988) - who all had 57kg - the only others to win.

Six have finished runner-up and four in third position, meaning 44 of the 59 failed to place.

It's a daunting prospect for the five in this year's race who have 57kg or more; joint 58kg topweights Best Of Days and Black Heart Bart and 57kg trio Despatch, Madison County and So Si Bon.

The only year with more on 57kg or above in the past decade was 2010, when there were eight. That year there was a 53.5kg minimum with only 4.5kg between the top and bottom weights and four of the first five over the line that year were on the limit, with the other, third placegetter Woorim, on 54.5kg.

There is 6kg between top and bottom this year with the 52kg limitweights - Begood Toya Mother ($3.20 fav) and Age Of Chivalry ($10) - prominent in BetEasy's market.

It is not uncommon for the favourite to win the Sir Rupert Clarke, something that has happened five times in the past 20 years, but there have also been six double-figure-odds winners in that time, including the past two, with the average winner's price of $8.48.

That's around the price of Age Of Chivalry and Amphitrite ($7.50), who along with Madison County ($14) are the four-year-olds engaged this year.

Four is clearly the most successful age group in the past two decades, batting at better than 50 per cent with 11 winners, including seven in a row from 2010-2016.

Three of those seven started from double-digit gates, making it nine of the past 20 who started from barrier 11 or wider. Oddly, barrier 15 (Fastnet Tempest this year) is the equal-most-successful gate in that time, level with barrier five (Black Heart Bart) on four wins.

Only twice in that time has the winner jumped from a barrier inside five; Rewaaya (one in 2006) and Bon Hoffa (three in 2007).

The lead-up form of winners has been hard to follow of late with the Sir Rupert Clarke alternating between the timeslot it occupies this weekend and the final Saturday in September, with the past seven winners having had their previous start in different events.

The Verdict: Looking for a 4YO down in the weights, around the $8.50 mark who is drawn away from the fence and we've got one in AMPHITRITE (54kg, barrier eight). Her previous start was in the Cockram Stakes, a race that doesn't figure in the lead-up form of the past seven winners.


Caulfield hosts the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes meeting on Saturday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS

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