Damien Lane posted the first Group 1 success of his career in partnering Trust In A Gust to success in last year’s edition of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), and is confident he is a leading chance of defending his crown with talented mare Gregers at Caulfield on Saturday.
Gregers has been a strong and consistent performer through her 24 career starts to date; securing six wins and a further eight minors for Trainer David Hayes and co-trainer Tom Dabernig since his appointment to the top job prior to the 2014 Spring Carnival.
Thrilled to have retained the ride on the Commands mare, whom he partnered to a credible third in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) a fortnight ago, Lane told AAP he is confident the conditions of the 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes will favour his runner but is hopeful of a good barrier draw on Wednesday morning.
“It (the Rupert Clarke Stakes) has given me my biggest success so far and hopefully I can do it again this year,” Lane said.
“I galloped her yesterday morning and the horse is in great order. I wouldn’t swap her for anything.
“She was really good at Flemington and I think third-up at 1400 metres is going to really suit her.
“Hopefully she draws low and she’ll be on speed. Down on 53 kilos, I think she’s going to take a lot of catching.”
Returning this year for second in the Jeep 55 Second Challenge Heat (955m) on March 27th, Gregers boxed on for a credible third in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) on April 18th before finishing an agonizingly-close second to Miracles Of Life in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) on May 2nd.
Having returned to the paddock following a credible sixth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) a fortnight later, the mare out of Satnav returned this time for seventh in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) before her improvement for third in the Bobbie Lewis Quality last time.
Leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Gregers at a particularly generous quote of $26 for success in early 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes betting markets.
The 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.