Sofia Rosa on Track for 2016 Memsie Stakes Return

Caulfield Cup hope Sofia Rosa has impressed her Kiwi trainer Stephen Marsh with a nice Flemington jumpout on Friday morning as the ATC Oaks winner progresses towards a first-up run in Saturday week’s Memsie Stakes 2016.

Sofia Rosa

ATC Oaks winner Sofia Rosa resumes racing at Caulfield on August 27 in the 2016 Memsie Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart.

The daughter of Makfi has won five of her 10 career starts to date including most famously her half-length victory over Ambience at Royal Randwick in April’s Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) during ‘The Championships’.

That was her down under debut and followed her second over the same mile and a half distance in the Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m) in March when defeated by the barest of margins behind Fanatic in an upset.

She is now tracking towards her four-year-old debut back in Australia racing for the first time in Melbourne for a resuming run in Caulfield’s $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 27.

Jockey Michael Walker put the mare through her paces the Melbourne way of going over 800m at Flemington in Friday morning’s first heat.

She finished a cruisy third behind the Chris Waller-trained mare All Cerise and the imported Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Tom Melbourne.

The jumpout also featuring Queensland Oaks winner Provocative who crossed just off the top three with Damien Oliver aboard.

“She jumped out really well – flew the gates and travelled beautifully. She’s pulled up great and Michael was full of praise for her,” Marsh said of Sofia Rosa post-heat.

“I couldn’t be any happier with her. She was straight into her tucker after the jumpout and looks on top of the world.”

Sofia Rosa’s main aim this time in is the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15 and in the Memsie Stakes she will face off against a host of other resuming stayers with the same mission.

Other Memsie Stakes hopes this season include the Tony McEvoy-trained Alpine Eagle, New Zealand-trained ATC Derby winner last time out Tavago, Robert Smerdon’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre and the reigning Melbourne Cup champion Prince Of Penzance.

The Mick Price-trained Victoria Derby winner from last Melbourne Cup Carnival Tarzino is also tracking towards a first-up run in the Memsie Stakes.

The Tavistock stallion also won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in the autumn before his fourth as the beaten favourite in the ATC Derby on April 2.

He leads the latest all-in Caulfield Cup odds at paying $15, while Tavago is one of five $17 chances occupying the second line of betting.

Sofia Rosa is at a longer $26 to join Southern Speed (2011) as the only Caulfield Cup winning mare since Sheila Laxon’s star Kiwi stayer Ethereal (2001).

Marsh also told the media on Friday his mare’s bad race manors looked on the improve and she had matured nicely over the break.

“Her behaviour this morning was really good for her and Michael got on really well with her,” he said.

“She’s strengthened since last season and temperament-wise she might have got slightly better.

“She’s not perfect by any means but she’s getting a little easier to deal with.”

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