Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
Dual Group 1 winner Vega Magic is on track for another campaign targeting the Memsie Stakes 2019 but is unlikely for the $14 million The Everest this spring.
The Lindsay Park-trained gelding won the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse in 2017 and finished fourth in the race last year when only a quarter-length off Humidor in a blanket finish.
The $1 million event on August 31 is on the agenda again for the rising seven-year-old according to his WA-based owner Wally Daly.
“He’s back in work and we’ll probably look at the Memsie again,” Daly told The West Australian this week.
Vega Magic will be out to become the first multiple Memsie Stakes winner on non-successive years since Sir Boom (1996 and 1999).
Champion mare Sunline is the latest two-time Memsie Stakes champ having gone back-to-back in 2000 and 2001.
Vega Magic was last seen finishing 20 lengths back 10th when second-last in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in early April during ‘The Championships’.
That run was on a Soft (7) track and followed his dead last when 12th to the successfully defending champion Redzel in The Everest (1200m) run on a Heavy track.
Connections will try to avoid Soft-rated tracks this spring with Vega Magic who finished runner-up to Redzel in the inaugural edition of The Everest back in 2017 on a Good (3) course.
Vega Magic’s other elite level success was in Adelaide’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) that year, which also took place on a firm Good (4) track.
His latest victory was at Caulfield in July last year when beating home Voodoo Lad in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).
There are still five positions to be filled in this year’s 12-horse The Everest field, but Daly said it would be unlikely for Vega Magic to be in contention.
“The wet tracks probably write us off from The Everest. We’ve got to avoid soft tracks,” he said.
“If he doesn’t go well, we’ll bring him home to assess him ourselves.”
Futures The Everest betting at Ladbrokes.com.au still lists Vega Magic as a $36 chance.
Those all-in The Everest odds on the world’s richest turf race are currently led by TJ Smith Stakes winner Santa Ana Lane ($5.50) racing for the TAB.
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