Under The Louvre wins Stradbroke Handicap

Under The Louvre is now a Group 1 winner after taking out Saturday’s $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

The Robert Smerdon-trained entire was a four time Group 1 placegetter from as many starts at the highest level prior to Saturday where he edged out Black Heart Bart in a photo finish.

Under The Louvre and Dwayne Dunn hold out Black Heart Bart and Brad Rawllier, picture

The Toby Edmonds-trained The Virginian ran third at just his fourth career start while favourite Azkadellia never featured as she remained back and caught on the fence.

Under The Louvre’s win was a reward for the five-year-old's consistency having finished out of the money just seven times in 29 career starts.

“He is such a genuine horse,” Smerdon said.

“He has been so competitive at the highest level for a long time.

“1400m just stretches him. Dwayne always had the back of Black Heart Bart and even when he got to him I wasn’t sure he’d get it.

“He toughed it out and found the line really well.”

It was Dwayne Dunn’s second start in partnership with Under The Louvre having partnered the son of Excellent Art when narrowly defeated by Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville three weeks ago.

With a 1kg weight swing over the Darren Weir-trained sprinter along with a nice run in transit, Under The Louvre was able to turn the tables.

Settled midfield, Under The Louvre stayed on the back of Black Heart Bart around the turn, before peeling into the clear on straightening.

Black Heart Bart struck the front 150m from home with Under The Louvre in hot pursuit before the latter edged ahead late.

“I just had a little bit of a better run than Black Heart Bart in transit,” Dunn said.

“He beat me in Adelaide (Goodwood) and today we were able to turn the tables

“We got into that lovely spot midfield with a nice bit of cover. We had the opportunity to leave a little petrol in the tank.

“Because he hasn’t hit the front for so long I don’t think he didn’t knew how to put them away.

“He is a great horse, he deserves to win his Group 1. These owners will be over the moon.”

It was Dwayne Dunn’s first Stradbroke success with his best prior result in Queensland’s premier sprint handicap a third aboard Happy Zero in 2012.

Dwayne Dunn, picture