Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Sydney’s leading lady of racing Gai Waterhouse will bypass a clash in the star-studded 2015 Memsie Stakes field at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend with her Group 1 winning mare Cosmic Endeavour who instead runs in the Cockram Stakes.
The opening elite level of the season, this Saturday’s $400,000 Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) attracted a bumper 26 nominations including Chris Waller’s beaten favourite last spring Boban.
It is shaping up as an excellent edition of the weight-for-age classic with other notable Memsie entries including last year’s Cox Plate runner-up Fawkner, Waller’s French import Weary coming off a first-up second in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), the Team Hawkes-trained Entirely Platinum and returning Kiwi raider Volkstok’n’barrell last seen running third in the ATC Derby back in April.
Waterhouse’s Tulloch Lodge stable meanwhile is without a Memsie Stakes nominee this year.
She does have a Group 1 champ kicking off a spring campaign at the meeting though with five-year-old Northern Meteor mare Cosmic Endeavour to take on a field of fellow female gallopers in the $150,000 Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) – registered as the William Hill Sprint Series Heat 1 Stakes.
The 1200m as opposed to the 1400m as well as the easier class of rivals was what prompted the Cockram decision according to a stable rep for Waterhouse who spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald this week.
“We decided that the mare’s race over 1200 metres would be a better option at this stage of her preparation than the Memsie,” the said.
“We’ve got races like the Sir Rupert Clarke and the Toorak Hcp on her program but we thought this was an ideal starting point.”
The $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) runs at Caulfield on September 26 while the mare’s other confirmed elite level target, the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m), is run at the same track on October 10.
A winner of seven of her 19 starts to date, Cosmic Endeavour is a dual Group 1 champion having taken out the 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara on the Gold Coast in Queensland as well as this year’s Canterbury Stakes over 1300m at Randwick back in early March.
Her two subsequent runs after the Canterbury were disappointing when 14th in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1300m) and the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), before she regained some form to run fifth to stablemate Amanpour in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes also run over the Randwick mile.
She has trialled twice since leading up to her Cockram Stakes return, most recently beating Bohemian Lily home by one and a quarter lengths over 1250m on August 10 at Randwick.
Waterhouse is confident she’s race fit and ready to go on the weekend, Cosmic Endeavour having just her second start at Caulfield.
Her only other run at the track was back in October of 2013 when she finished a credible fourth to Missy Longstocking in a Group 3 over 1200m, and on Saturday she will carry a notable 59kg with Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride.
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