The 2015-16 Australian Racing Season’s opening Group 1 race takes place at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne this afternoon, with Hi World the early market mover in 2015 Memsie Stakes betting.
Twelve months in the same weight-for-age Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival feature, trainer Peter Moody took out the $400,000 Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) with the since-retired Dissident.
This year Moody returns with another livewire hope in the Memsie, which is due to jump as Caulfield Race 8 at 4:45pm (AEST).
Drawn the rails in barrier one, Hi World is the market mover having been backed in from $9.50 to $7 to become the first Memsie Stakes winner since Bundy Lad (1994) to win from the inside alley.
Kerrin McEvoy reunites with the four-year-old High Chaparral stallion having ridden Hi World for a trio of wins on the trot during the autumn in Sydney, as well as his two latest trials in July.
The horse’s two latest wins were both in Group 3 company when he completed the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) – Frank Packer Plate (2000m) double, the Memsie his first run on a Melbourne track since March when runner-up in a handicap over 1400m at Flemington.
He is yet to race at Caulfield, but has a strong first-up record (3-1-1-1) and also has run well in his two previous runs over the distance with a win and a second.
The Memsie Stakes odds though remain led by the Chris Waller-trained Boban ($4.80) drawn in gate five with Glyn Schofield aboard last year’s beaten favourite.
Boban was fifth in the Memsie last year, but had a strong two run Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign last prep winning his fourth Group 1 in the Doomben 10,000 before a Stradbroke Handicap second.
There are then two other single figure hopes with Kiwi raider Volkstok’n’barrell ($7.50) well liked despite a wide draw (12) and Stratum Star who has firmed right in from $12 to $8.50 since gaining a start as the first emergency for the scratched Fawkner.
Donna Logan’s now four-year-old son of Tavistock Volkstok’n’barrell won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney last prep on the back of a Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) second back home, and was last seen running third when beaten under a length by fellow New Zealand visitor Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) in April.
He runs in Melbourne for the first time here and is undefeated over the 1400m with two previous runs at the distance, and heads towards a run in either the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 or the weight-for-age $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) the following weekend.
Stratum Star is prepared at Ballarat by Darren Weir, the four-year-old Stratum stallion second-up here after a seventh in a blanket finish beaten just two lengths by the winner in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) here on August 15.
Also firming in their price to win the Memsie Stakes are the likes of Tony Gollan’s Group 1 winner Temple Of Boom ($16 into $15) coming off a first-up third in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) in Sydney three weeks ago and last start Regal Roller Stakes winner Setinum ($51 into $41) who is still at a roughie’s price with the outside alley.
A host of other hopefuls are then on the drift easing out in the markets including former single-figure hope Weary ($8 out to $10) who is a stablemate to the favourite Boban, the Paul Beshara-trained veteran Happy Trails ($14 out to $19) and Galileo eight-year-old Sertorius ($21 out to $26).
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