Tony McEvoy has admitted he was devastated when Big Memory drew barrier 20 for Saturday’s Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m), but the trainer is finding things to be optimistic about.
The five-year-old gelding has come through his last-start win really well and will carry just 52kg under the handicap conditions, which is the lowest weight on the field.
Big Memory secured his spot in the 2014 Caulfield Cup race with a victory in last Saturday’s Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), for which he survived protest.
McEvoy says the gelding came through the race better than can be expected, and may have even improved from the run.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he’s come through the run,” McEvoy told Racing Victoria.
“I think it’s brought him on, he was only third up the other day and the run has really brightened him up. He’s bouncing around, he had to be led off the track and he’s his normal self.
“He’s got a really good base of fitness, he’s been trained for this race and I always thought that third up run would bring him on even further.”
Despite drawing barrier 20, Big Memory is set to start from gate 17 with Corey Brown in the saddle following the withdrawal of the emergencies – not gate 16 as predicted following the scratching of Dandino (22).
McEvoy is confident the gelding can make the best of a worst situation and finish somewhere within the $3 million prize pool money.
“With another preparation in Australia he’s just got better again and he’s only really had one blemish in Australia and that was in the Adelaide Cup when he was over the top and they went way too hard,” he said.
“He doesn’t have to go forward, we’ll sit down and study the speed maps before making a plan but he is versatile.
“I’m confident he’ll run a very honest race and I think he can finish in the first six.”
Big Memory has drifted with online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au from $17 out to $26.
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