Trainer Peter Moody will be out to claim his third Memsie Stakes in the past five years with his promising galloper Hi World at Caulfield this Saturday, and the leading trainer is sticking to a proven formula. Moody prepared both King’s Rose (2011) and Dissident (2014) to win the Memsie Stakes first up from spell as 4yo’s and Hi World is rated a $9.00 chance to join his former stable-mates in achieving the feat. Early favourite in a wide open market is Boban ($5.00) with only Fawkner ($8.00) and Volkstock’n’barrell ($7.50) the other runners under double figure odds. The Memsie has been a good race to favourites in recent year with three of the past five editions being taken out by the popular elect however, also of interest, is that five of the last six winners of the Memsie Stakes have all been camped on or close to, the pace.
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1. FAWKNER – S Arnold (18)
Forty-five weeks since we last saw 2013’s Caulfield Cup winner in action, where he finished tenth in the Melbourne Cup. He was off a 24 week spell when running a nose second to Dissident in the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) first up last time in. That continued he’s solid fresh form but off the long break, from a poor draw and with Cox Plate his aim this year, think he’ll have improvement in him here and be better for this outing.
2. HAPPY TRIALS – G Boss (13)
The 8yo returned from a winter spell with a sixth (4.2 lengths) in the Spring Stakes (1200m) three weeks ago. Not surprisingly, found them too slick first up over the 1200m and the extra furlong will assist, as will a drier track, but his best runs in recent times have come beyond a mile. This is his fourth Memsie Stakes but he’s finished well outside of the placings in the two most recent editions and hard to see him getting over the top of a couple of these late off of his first up effort.
3. BOBAN – G Schofield (5)
He was first up off a fifteen week break when finishing powerfully through the centre of the field to claim the G1 Doomben 10,000 in May and went close to making it G1 double at his following start, when shaded by Srikandi in the Stradbroke Handicap. Only been off the scene for twelve weeks and looked forward in condition when competing in two recent Sydney trials. Unplaced last two visits to Caulfield and his racing pattern does mean he’ll need luck in running, but off of his Queensland form and residual fitness, getting that luck appears to be his greatest challenge.
4. TEMPLE OF BOOM – M Zahra (9)
Started a well-supported favourite in the G2 Missile Stakes when resuming in Sydney three weeks back but despite a nice run in transit, couldn’t hold of the fast-finishing Burbero and Weary late, running third (1 length). Two stats stand out here when digging through his form; he has never won a race beyond 1200m and is yet to run a place in nine Victorian Group 1 races contested. Despite the above facts though, the prediction of showers for the week in Melbourne will be to his liking and now a 9yo with one run under his belt, he may be ready for the seven furlongs.
5. DANDINO – J Allen (3)
The 9yo is back in Australia after a brief but successful visit in the spring of 2013 saw him run a tremendous second in the G1 Caulfield Cup behind Fawkner before finishing fifth in Fiorente’s Melbourne Cup. It’s been close to a year since he last competed and would expect his new trainer Darren Weir will not be expecting anything significant given the horse hasn’t contested a race short of 2400m since June 2010.
6. SMOKIN JOEY – C Parnham (11)
After a comprehensive win in the G3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) late last month the 8yo, who has been in solid form this year for trainer Wez Hunter, started the $4.20 fav in the P. B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m). He moved into the race strongly rounding the turn despite a wide run from the 800m but showed little in the straight, finishing last of nine and 4.3 lengths from the winner Mourinho. Scoped post-race and a veterinary clearance was required. Likes Caulfield and did run second to Suavito in the G1 Futurity (1400m) here earlier in the year but it is hard to overlook last start.
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7. SERTORIUS –R Maloney (14)
Rounded out last campaign with an over-due win in the G3 Easter Cup (2000m) where he defeated Escado by a neck. He has placed at G1 company previously when first up from a spell, second to Moment Of Change in the Futurity (1400m), and was second to Suavito in the G2 Blamey Stakes fresh last time in. However there were only nine runners in each of the above races and being a back-maker here with a capacity and quality field, would be happy to bet around him.
8. WEARY – C Newitt (16)
Closed strongly first up from a spell but not as quickly as Burbero who defeated him by head when the pair met in the G2 Missile Stakes (1200m) three weeks ago. Has promised more than he has delivered in recent times and this being his first look at Caulfield and the Melbourne way of going, combined with drawing horribly in gate sixteen, would be prepared to take him on despite the encouraging first up performance.
9. PRINCE OF PENZANCE – (17)
A dour stayer who has had a forty-one week spell since finishing third (2.5 lengths) in the G2 Zipping Classic, last November. Like most in the Darren Weir stable, he has a healthy strike rate and being a lightly raced 6yo, has plenty of improvement left in him however, he’ll need it much longer than this before he is able to show his best.
10. ENTIRELY PLATINUM – D Dunn (7)
After a strong second to Dissident first up last campaign in the C. F. Orr Stakes (1400m), the Hawkes Racing runner failed to live up to expectation in three remaining starts during the autumn. Given a good spell to start afresh here and with no recent trials to go on, the Orr effort last time in would be enough – combined with the handy draw, to give him some hope here on an each-way basis.
11. VOLKSTOCK’N’BARRELL – B Shinn (12)
A New Zealand galloper that claimed the G1 Rosehill Guineas earlier this year before finishing a close third (0.9 lengths), to fellow kiwi Mongolian Khan in the Aust Derby. Trainer Donna Logan reports the 4yo son of Tavistock has furnished well over the break and ready to continue his strong form upon his return. This probably short of his best distance, but will be finishing hard and certainly well-credentialed to become a leading player of the spring.
12. MAGICOOL – J Winks (6)
The Mark Kavanagh trained galloper finished his three year old season with victory in the G1 Queensland Derby (2400m). That was his fifth career win from only fourteen starts but the last four of them have been at 1800m or beyond. He’ll find this trip too short and the class, at this point of his campaign, too which.
13. PETROLOGY – V Duric (2)
Run peaked late when finishing third (3.3 lengths) to Smokin’ Joey in the G3 Bletchingly Stakes before, three week later, finishing second to last in the P B Lawrence Stakes won by Mourniho. Wouldn’t think the inside draw will be of advantage to him and combined with expecting to have seen more from him late last start, it’s hard to see him being able to run down a few he’ll be giving a start to here. Needs to improve.
14. HI WORLD – K McEvoy (1)
The High Chaparral stallion relished both the wet conditions and further ground in his final three starts as a three year old last season, winning each of them culminating in the G3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m). He has trialled very well for trainer Peter Moody in each of the two trials he has contested in the past month – both in Sydney – and looks set to continue his progress through the ranks.
This is a big challenge first up but would respect the stable’s decision to kick him off here and expect him to go well.
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15. SETINUM – D Lane (20)
Closed well to surprise most first up from a spell to claim last fortnight’s Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m), defeating Platinum Rocker and Yesterday’s Song. Only had 54kgs on that occasion so the WFA scale here sees the 4yo Holy Roman Emperor rise 4.5kgs and on top of that, jumps from the widest gate – 20. Faces a very tough challenge here to make it back-to-back wins.
16. RISING ROMANCE – M Rodd (10)
The Australian Oaks winner from last season will be stepping out for the first time under the guidance of new trainers Hayes/Dabernig. She was excellent in a short campaign earlier this year, winning first up at Ellerslie before running close seconds in the G1 NZ Stakes and then the G3 Epona Stakes (1900m) to Scratchy Bottom. Not seen at the trials but a smart mare who did run an eye-catching fourth (2.2 lengths) in the Tramway Stakes behind Lucia Valentina last spring. Will be kept under close surveillance.
17. STRATUM STAR – (8) (1st EM)
Drew poorly (14) when resuming from a spell in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago and settled well back in the field. The Darren Weir trained 4yo was doing his best work late in running seventh (2.1 lengths) behind Setinum. Fitter again, the extra furlong is in his favour and from eight, should he get a run, he won’t have to settle as far back as he did last start. Consistent galloper who ran third to Wandjina twice last campaign and despite this being his first attempt at the top grade, might produce a run better than expected.
18. TREVIERES – S Baster (4) (2nd EM)
A former overseas galloper now with the Morgan/Widdison yard, whose only start in Australia was an eye-catching second (1.25 lengths) behind Solzhenitsyn in the G1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) where he flashed home from the second half of the field. That run, his most recent, was close to two years ago now though and it’ll be a big ask of him to win a race like this for his comeback.
19. PRESSING – (19) (3rd EM)
He resumed from a lengthy spell with a tenth placing in the Regal Roller Stakes (1200m), holding his position in the run to the line to finish 3.55 lengths behind winner, Setinum. Needed that run but needs it easier than this too if he is to be winning.
20. CHARMED HARMONY – (15) (4th EM)
Continued to be the punter’s pal by recorded her third straight win a fortnight ago, easily accounting for Extra Zero by 2 ¼ lengths. In top form but the jump from that event to this, where she rises significantly in class and 3kgs in weight, will prove too greater of a challenge if she where to get a start.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Great edition of this fantastic race which unofficially, signals the start of spring. It is hard to come up with a definitive speed map here with some many returning from a spell and some of the better chances, having drawn poorly. Moody seems to have the formula with the emerging gallopers in this race and think Hi World may fit the bill. Just hope he gets a touch of luck from the inside draw rounding the turn but at $9.00, happy to take the punt he will. Not sure about Boban, who did seem back to his best in Queensland, here at the $5.00 when looking at the speed map. Think they may have to chance their arm a bit and look for a more forward position than he is use to otherwise he’ll need luck. Temple Of Boom might be the value runner. Will take good benefit out of the Missile run and the forecast of showers this week for Victoria will do his chances no harm. Same goes for Rising Romance who loves the cut out of the track and can settle close enough from ten to be in the right spot turning. Tough, tough race.
1. HI WORLD
2. TEMPLE OF BOOM
4. RISING ROMANCE.