A bumper field of gallopers will face off in the season’s opening Group 1 this weekend in Melbourne with a capacity line-up engaged for the Memsie Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse.
Set to run as Caulfield Race 8 at 4:45pm (AEST), this year’s $400,000 Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) has attracted the full 16 starters plus four emergencies awaiting a scratching to make the cut.
The weight-for-age classic was won by the Peter Moody-trained Dissident last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with the favourite Boban running fifth.
Chris Waller’s beaten favourite from 12 months ago gets the chance to atone and take out this year’s Memsie Stakes with Boban one of the sure-to-be favourites through Ladbrokes.com.au in the field on the weekend.
Waller has two Memsie Stakes runners on Saturday with the returning Boban joined in the line-up by in-form French import Weary.
Drawn a treat in gate five with Glyn Schofield to ride, four-time Group 1 winning Bernardini gelding Boban won the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) first-up in Brisbane last time in before his second in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) also run at Doomben on June 6.
He has trialled nicely twice since leading up to his return where Waller hopes he can emulate his 10,000 win and salute in his fifth elite level over a distance he boasts a gun record over (13-5-3-0).
Weary is second-up in the Memsie and has suffered an early blow drawing barrier 16 for he and jockey Craig Newitt, who takes over for Schofield, to overcome.
The Astronomer Royal grey is also a six-year-old and caught the eye in his resuming run at Randwick on August 8 when beaten just a neck running second to Burbero in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m).
He was runner-up also in his final run the prep before behind Pornichet in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) and shoots for his maiden victory since winning the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in late January at the start of the year.
Along with Waller’s ace duo, the other headline Memsie Stakes final acceptor who is sure to be well liked in the markets is Fawkner.
The Robert Hickmott-trained Reset eight-year-old will need to overcome a horror barrier (18), but has a solid record at the track (3-2-1-0) and distance (6-3-0-0).
He missed the autumn due to injury and so is running for the first time since his 10th to Protectionist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles last November.
Before that the he was in flying spring form winning the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and then crossing second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
A wide barrier in the Memsie Stakes has been a massive hoodoo in recent years with just the one horse winning from double digits since 2004 with King’s Rose (barrier 11 in 2011).
Other widely-drawn hopes looking to overcome a bad gate this year include Paul Beshara’s Good Journey eight-year-old Happy Trails (13) who runs in his fourth straight Memsie Stakes, the returning Sertorius (14) who was last seen winning the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000M) at Caulfield back in early April and the Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance (17).
Winner of the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day last spring, the now six-year-old Prince Of Penzance also ran second in Flemington’s Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival before a last start third in the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m).
Weir has also accepted for the his consistent four-year-old Stratum stallion Stratum Star, third in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) back in March, who is the first Memsie Stakes emergency along with 2013 Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino.
Imported Dansili nine-year-old Dandino returns off a lengthy break, the stallion not having raced since September last year back in Europe.
His last start down under was a fifth to Fiorente in the Melbourne Cup two years ago, and he returns on Saturday drawn nicely in barrier three with John Allen to ride.
Coming off a nice lead-up into the Memsie Stakes and boasting a fitness advantage over the host of resuming stars are the likes of the Tony Gollan-trained Queensland raider Temple Of Boom and Setinum with the outside alley hampering his chances of going back-to-back.
A former Group 1 winner, veteran nine-year-old Temple Of Boom is second-up following a Missile Stakes third last time out while Shane Fliedner’s Holy Roman Emperor four-year-old Setinum won the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 15.
Among the best of the other first-up runners are the likes of the Donna Logan-trained Kiwi Volkstok’n’barrell, Magicool and Rising Romance.
Blake Shinn rides Tavistock four-year-old Volkstok’n’barrell, winner of the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) back in March on the back of a second in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), who was last seen crossing third to NZ Derby runner-up Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) at Randwick in early April.
Magicool is also first-up, Mark Kavanagh’s Queensland Derby winning Fastnet Rock four-year-old not having raced since his Group 1 win over the Doomben 2200m back in early June.
Rising Romance meanwhile is formerly prepared by Volkstok’n’barrell’s trainer Logan, but runs on Saturday for her new trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig for the first time.
Winner of last year’s ATC Oaks in Sydney, Rising Romance was runner-up in the Caulfield Cup as well during her three-year-old season and is in for another big spring.
See below for the full Memsie Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights then visit Ladbrokes.com.au for all the odds and a $500 bonus bet when you deposit and quote the code SPRINGBONUS!
2015 Memsie Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 8 (4:45pm) – 29/08/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||16x7x2120x||FAWKNER||Robert Hickmott||Steven Arnold||18||59kg||115|
|2||61x62307x6||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Glen Boss||13||59kg||112|
|3||59x970x12x||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||5||59kg||114|
|4||560x6704x3||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Mark Zahra||9||59kg||105|
|5||1x25x6624x||DANDINO (GB)||Darren Weir||John Allen||3||59kg||107|
|6||4124×08119||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Chris Parnham||11||59kg||106|
|7||3x6798x21x||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards||Ryan Maloney||14||59kg||106|
|8||0x130082x2||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||16||59kg||107|
|9||2x8782123x||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||TBA||17||59kg||104|
|10||1828x2460x||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||7||59kg||102|
|11||1x1113213x||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||Donna Logan||Blake Shinn||12||58.5kg||110|
|12||x84618411x||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||James Winks||6||58.5kg||101|
|13||611x290x38||PETROLOGY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Vlad Duric||2||58.5kg||93|
|14||3x14x2111x||HI WORLD||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||1||58.5kg||95|
|15||1x941347x1||SETINUM||Shane Fliedner||Damian Lane||20||58.5kg||93|
|16||47226x122x||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Rodd||10||57kg||110|
|17e||122x2332x7||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||TBA||8||58.5kg||95|
|18e||x531411x2x||TREVIERES (FR)||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||4||59kg||101|
|20e||1×81023111||CHARMED HARMONY||John Sadler||TBA||15||59kg||102|