Up-and-coming Darley-owned filly Memorial may not have the same profile as her Blue Diamond winning stable mate Earthquake but she’s also got a big spring ahead targeting the 2014 Thousand Guineas – the same race her dam won nearly a decade ago.
While the team is not yet sure whether Earthquake will head towards the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 over the mile or instead stick to grand final sprint in the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1, they know exactly where to take Street Cry filly Memorial.
A decision on Golden Slipper runner-up Earthquake will be made after she runs in the $175,000 Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 20.
But for Memorial the Thousand Guineas is the definite target.
The rising three-year-old has had half a dozen starts to date for two wins when going back-to-back in her opening two runs at Rosehill in November.
During the autumn she was unplaced in her three most recent starts, but was brave in defeat having peaked a little too soon in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) when two and a half lengths away fifth to Mossfun.
Memorial had the outside barrier (16) on a Heavy (8) track that day and both caught up with her so she tiered in the closing stages of the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
Her latest start then was an eighth over the same distance but at Randwick on April 19 in the Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes, an effort that showed she was probably keen for more ground.
John O’Shea now trains all the Darley horses formerly under Peter Snowden’s care including Memorial and Earthquake.
Darley racing manager Jason Walsh confirmed the Thousand Guineas target for Memorial, a race her champion mother Mnemosyne won back in 2005 beating Rewaaya (2nd) and Serenade Rose (3rd).
He also indicated that if all went to plan and she showed ability over the distance then they would consider pressing onto the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 6 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival with Memorial.
“We’d probably be more confident with her, being by Street Cry and just by her racing pattern, that she’ll get a mile and she may even progress out beyond that to even an Oaks,” Walsh told Racing Victoria.
In the latest pre-nomination Thousand Guineas betting markets Earthquake is the $5.50 favourite with the bookies taking no chances.
Memorial meanwhile pays $19.
Earthquake is then at $15 in the futures Crown Oaks odds led by Champagne Stakes winner Go Indy Go ($6) while Memorial is just off her in the staying feature at $17.
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