Theanswermyfriend’s Flemington win has earned him a Group One start in the Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Trainer Robert Smerdon can see no reason why Theanswermyfriend will be out of place in his first attempt in Group One company.
The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday has been the long-range target for the gelding since he kicked off his campaign in August.
His Listed success in the Sofitel over 1400m at Flemington on September 16 confirmed Theanswermyfriend’s presence in the race.
“When he went to Flemington he had to win to get in,” Smerdon said.
“He won and won well so you bite the bullet.
“I know it’s a big step but it’s the race we’ve been heading for and nothing’s happened to sway away from it.”
Theanswermyfriend has an impeccable record over 1400m after being tried as a stayer as a spring three-year-old.
After winning over 1600m on the middle day of the Caulfield Cup carnival last year, Theanswermyfriend was stepped up to 2200m but finished a tiring 11th, after leading, in the Geelong Classic.
Since being kept to shorter trips, Theanswermyfriend has finished first or second in seven of his eight starts including three wins and a second over Sunday’s distance.
His one defeat at the distance was by Rupert Clarke rival Mr Sneaky at Flemington in March.
Smerdon said Theanswermyfriend’s high cruising speed was suited to 1400m although he was slightly concerned with Sunday’s draw.
“He’s drawn 11 which is not ideal up that hill,” Smerdon said.
“He may be a better horse when he can lead and control it as he’s got a good cruising speed and can kick off that.
“Charmed Harmony will lead on Sunday. He (Theanswermyfriend) doesn’t have to lead but he can roll forward and take up a position.”
Smerdon said Theanswermyfriend’s trackwork had been strong since he beat Mr Sneaky at Flemington on September 16.
“He had a good gallop on the course proper at Caulfield on Tuesday,” Smerdon said.
“Ryan Maloney has been riding him all the way through and said it was typical work for him.”
Theanswermyfriend sits on the third line of betting at $7 for Sunday’s race.
Perth visitor Scales Of Justice has been backed from $4.60 to $3.30 top pick with former Japanese galloper Tosen Stardom the $6.50 second favourite.No tags for this post.