Magic Time bolts clear in Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes

Magic Time ridden by Michael Dee wins the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield. (Photo by Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

The final Group 1 on the Victorian racing calendar for 2023 will head the way of the Grahame Begg barn as Magic Time (+380) produced a brave effort to score victory in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The four-year-old mare was cast wide without cover for the duration of the 1400m journey, but it didn’t seem to phase the daughter of Hellbent.

The likes of Buffalo River (+1800) and General Beau (+2000) speared forward from barrier 16 and 14 respectively, causing a hectic pace up on-speed.

It allowed some of the key chances to settle in the back-half of the field, with Straight Acer (+1100) and I Am Me (+550) gaining soft runs in behind.

When the race went on, there was only one horse you wanted to be on however, as Magic Time bolted down the centre of the course to score an impressive maiden Group 1 victory.

Straight Acer was luckless storming into third, while I Am Me was brave whacking away into the quinella spot.

2023 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes Replay – Magic Time | T: Grahame Begg | J: Michael Dee

It was a much-deserved Group 1 win for Magic Time, as Grahame Begg spoke to in his post-race assessment, suggesting this may not have always been the target.

“It wasn’t early doors,” said Begg.

“We had the plan to take her to Sydney.

“The Invitation was the race we set her for up there and we could have left her up there to run in the Hot Danish last week, but I thought I’d bring her back, run her in the handicap with 53 (kilos) on her back.

“I thought it was a great race for her. 1400 metres, good speed on, the right recipe for her and she’s got the job done.”

It was the first time Michael Dee hopped aboard this progressive mare and credited her toughness.

“She’s usually a mare that naturally puts herself on speed and I always knew there was going to be a massive amount of speed in this,” said Dee.

“We didn’t get any favours, she’s done it tough, punched the breeze and got pushed wider on the corner.

“To her credit that was a super effort.

“Credit to Grahame and Rohan and his team for getting her here.

“I’m sure Grahame mentioned it’s been a bit of an unlucky spring for him, so to get get a Group 1 and to top it off, it’s amazing.”

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