Jockey Blake Shinn will have just his second ride in the Memsie Stakes this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival having picked up the mount on smart Kiwi raider Volkstok’n’barrell in the Caulfield classic.
Kicking off elite level racing for the season on August 29, the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) is shaping up as a class act with a host of proven stars and promising spring potentials on the path towards the weight-for-age feature.
Among the possible runners in this year’s Memsie Stakes field is the Donna Logan-trained Volkstok’n’barrell, winner of the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney back in March.
A four-year-old son of Tavistock, the Rosehill Guineas champ also ran second at home in the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) in late February and was last seen crossing under a length away third to fellow New Zealand visitor Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) in early April.
Shinn announced via Twitter on Monday he was “very excited” to partner Volkstok’n’barrell first-up in the Memsie Stakes, the horse having had Craig Williams aboard for his two Group 1 Sydney runs during the autumn.
Williams has had 11 previous Memsie Stakes rides for one second and a victory aboard the David Hayes-trained Miss Finland (2007).
The Memsie Stakes will be the New Zealand-trained gelding’s maiden Melbourne run and will hopefully lead into a return to the track on October 17 for the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half.
Futures Caulfield Cup odds are already open online at Ladbrokes.com.au with Japanese stayer Fame Game and the aforementioned ATC Derby winner Mongolian Khan the current co-$13 favourites.
Volkstok’n’barrell is also in the first half of early Caulfield Cup betting at $17, an equal price with four other runners including Chris Waller’s Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec who returns to racing this Saturday in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
Other possible Memsie Stakes contenders this season include the Mark Kavanagh-trained Queensland Derby winner Magicool, 2013 Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino who is set to return from a length injury enforced spell and last Saturday’s Regal Roller Stakes winner Setinum.
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