John O’Shea has taken full advantage of the extended deadline for Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) nominations, making three-year-old filly Memorial a late entry.
Memorial joins stable mate Meursault in contention for the $150,000 sprint race, which means racing giant Godolphin could deliver a dual-pronged attack at Rosehill on Saturday.
The filly was originally due to resume her autumn campaign in the 2015 Eskimo Prince Stakes before plans were changed and the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) running at Randwick next Saturday began her starting point.
Yet after nominations were extended for the Eskimo Prince Stakes, O’Shea jumped at the chance to revert back to his original plans.
“We had her pencilled in for the Eskimo Prince a couple of weeks ago and then we changed our mind to go to the Light Fingers,” Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh told Sky Racing.
“The race was definitely on the radar and John has put her in on the basis of the strength of the nominations and he will make a firmer decision later in the week.”
Memorial was one of Godolphin’s better two-year-olds heading into the autumn last year after winning her debut by two and a half lengths followed by another minor win by four lengths.
The filly finished runner-up in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) first up last March before finishing outside the placings in her further three starts, including the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m).
She once again scored a runner-up finish in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) on her return in the spring before finishing last in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m). Connections decided to cut her spring campaign short, giving her an extended break since something wasn’t adding up.
“She wasn’t holding her condition and John wasn’t happy with the way she was doing in the stable,” Walsh said.
“For that reason, rather than push on to the Flight (Stakes) and races like that we decided to give her a good, lengthy spell.”
The extended spell seemed to work, Memorial finished in the first two in her two barrier trials in January. The filly went to the line in last week’s trial at Warwick Farm, beating last year’s Golden Slipper winner Mossfun along with potential Eskimo Prince Stakes rivals Kermadec and Delectation.
The 2015 Eskimo Prince Stakes final field will be released later this morning (Wednesday). Keep Races.com.au bookmarked for all the latest updates.
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