Former Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner is one of a host of star gallopers nominated to face off in the season’s opening Group 1 race when the Memsie Stakes 2015 takes centre stage in Melbourne on the weekend.
The headline event at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday, the $400,000 Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) has attracted a bumper 26 nominations this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The highest-rated of the early entries for the weight-for-age classic is 2013 Caulfield Cup champ Fawkner, the Robert Hickmott-trained Reset eight-year-old racing first-up after missing the autumn.
A dual Group 1 winner having also taken out the Caulfield Stakes over 2000m defeating Criterion last October, the veteran was runner-up to Irish raider in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) under WFA conditions last prep before a 10th to Protectionist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) last November.
The horse Fawkner beat home in the Caulfield Cup two years ago, Dandino also returns to racing in this year’s Memsie Stakes.
Now prepared in Victoria by Darren Weir, the imported Dansili stallion is a warhorse making his nine-year-old debut this weekend off a length injury-enforced spell going back to September last year.
After Fakwner the other top-rated Memsie Stakes nominees this spring are the Chris Waller-trained four-time Group 1 winner Boban, Happy Trails for Paul Beshara and Rising Romance who debuts for new her new trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig.
Boban is first-up this weekend off a top Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign that saw the now six-year-old son of Bernardini win the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) first-up before a last start second to Srikandi in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
He broke a year plus long drought winning the 10,000 and Waller is hoping a similar lead-up into the Memsie can see the $2.5 million earner score his incredible fifth Group 1 trophy at career start number 33.
Waller has also nominated for Weary, the French import racing second-up this Saturday after a close second to Burbero in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 8, which was the Astronomer Royal gelding’s first run since a second to Pornichet in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) back in May.
Happy Trails is also a multiple Group 1 winner with the Good Journey eight-year-old boasting victories in the 2012 Emirates Stakes, 2013 Turnbull Stakes and last year’s Mackinnon Stakes over the 2000m at Flemington.
He returned on August 8 with a sixth to Red Eclipse in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide that he’ll be out to improve on second-up shooting for just his second Caulfield win at his 11th start at the track.
Rising Romance is one of two Hayes & Dabernig-trained Memsie entries this year, the former New Zealand-trained daughter of Ekraar last seen running second in Rosehill’s Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) in March when still prepared by Donna Logan.
Runner-up in last year’s Caulfield Cup to Admire Rakti, the now five-year-old has had just that one previous run at Caulfield and looks to become a dual Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 ATC Oaks as a three-year-old in Sydney.
The Lindsay Park stable have also entered Petrology, the four-year-old Fastnet Rock stallion out to improve on a disappointing eighth of nine runners in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at the track from August 15.
New Zealand’s Logan meanwhile still has a chance in the Memsie Stakes despite no longer preparing Rising Romance, the Ruakaka-based trainer nominating for Tavistock gelding Volkstok’nbarrell.
A six-time winner from 10 starts to date, the NZ Derby runner-up travelled down under during the spring and won straight away talking out the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in March before a last start third when beaten under a length by current 2015 Caulfield Cup co-favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) in early April.
Other notable hopes returning to racing in the Memsie Stakes include the Peter Moody-trained dual Group 3 winner Hi World, Mark Kavanagh’s Queensland Derby champ Magicool, Moonee Valley Cup winner Prince Of Penzance and last year’s Crown Oaks winning filly Set Square.
As for those boasting the fitness edge some of the best include the John Sadler-trained Charmed Harmony shooting for a fourth straight win, last start Listed Regal Roller Stakes winner Setinum and Tony Gollan’s 60-start Group 1 winning vet Temple Of Boom coming off a third in the Missile Stakes.
See below for the full Memsie Stakes 2015 nominations, the final field and barriers out on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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2015 Memsie Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 29/08/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||524004361x||ABIDEWITHME (NZ)||M||6||Peter G Moody||95|
|2||9x36211x0x||AMRALAH (IRE)||H||6||Robert Hickmott||104|
|3||9x343x034x||AWESOME ROCK||H||4||Leon & Troy Corstens||82|
|5||1×81023111||CHARMED HARMONY||G||6||John Sadler||102|
|6||1x25x6624x||DANDINO (GB)||H||9||Darren Weir||107|
|7||563330×485||DESERT JEUNEY||G||6||Nigel Blackiston||99|
|8||1828x2460x||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||102|
|10||61x62307x6||HAPPY TRAILS||G||8||Paul Beshara||112|
|11||3x14x2111x||HI WORLD||H||4||Peter G Moody||95|
|12||00357x214x||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||M||6||Nigel Blackiston||98|
|14||611x290x38||PETROLOGY||H||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||93|
|16||2x8782123x||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||G||6||Darren Weir||104|
|17||47226x122x||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||110|
|19||3111x230x||SET SQUARE||M||4||Ciaron Maher||102|
|21||4124×08119||SMOKIN’ JOEY||G||8||Wez Hunter||106|
|22||122x2332x7||STRATUM STAR||H||4||Darren Weir||95|
|23||560x6704x3||TEMPLE OF BOOM||G||9||Tony Gollan||105|
|24||x531411x2x||TREVIERES (FR)||G||8||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||101|
|25||1x1113213x||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||G||4||Donna Logan||110|
|26||0x130082x2||WEARY (FR)||G||6||Chris Waller||107|