James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
Big Memory won’t be tested over the two miles of the Melbourne Cup this spring with his trainer Tony McEvoy confirming the Caulfield Cup 2015 as the main target for the import.
A winner of four of his 24 starts to date, French-bred Duke Of Marmalade six-year-old Big Memory was runner-up to Banca Mo in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) in late March before a last start eighth when failing to fire in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 11.
His below par run over the two miles at Randwick proved to the Angaston-based McEvoy that a campaign heading towards the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup over the same distance at Flemington this November would be a fruitless affair.
Big Memory was also tested over the 3200m in Morphettville’s Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) in March last year when 11th to Outback Joe, beaten over 16 lengths after dropping out in the closing stages.
“He doesn’t run the two miles,” McEvoy told AAP.
“We’ve tried him twice now in the Adelaide Cup and the Sydney Cup and both times he was a winning chance to the turn and then no winning chance in the straight.”
Instead this time in the $600,000 earner will look for an elite level win in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half at Caulfield Racecourse on October 17.
Caulfield Cup nominations close this Tuesday with the current pre-nomination betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Japan’s Fame Game ($10).
Big Memory meanwhile is located further down the futures Caulfield Cup odds at $67.
Last spring the galloper won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) over the same track and distance as the Caulfield Cup before a failed 10th in the same Group 1 he is targeting again in 2015.
Corey Brown rode him in last year’s Caulfield Cup on just 52kg but still Big Memory was only able to cross 10th, albeit beaten under three lengths by the Japanese-trained winner Admire Rakti.
From there he went on to finish runner-up to Signoff in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and then third in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) behind Le Roi on the seven day back-up.
McEvoy ran Big Memory and three of his stablemates between races at Morphettville on Saturday where he worked alongside Australian Guineas runner-up Alpine Eagle who targets the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley this October.
On Friday the contingent are set for official trials before McEvoy confirms their spring agendas, the Caulfield Cup the most preferred option for Big Memory.
“The Caulfield Cup is the goal but he would have to be right at the peak of his form,” McEvoy said.
“There’s also the Metropolitan in Sydney, and there’s some nice country Cups.
“But I’d love to get him to the Caulfield Cup.”
Worth an increased $750,000 in prize money this spring, Sydney’s the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) runs at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day, October 3.
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