The 2015 Memsie Stakes field has been released and eight Group 1 winners have been included in the entries for the Group 1 event that will be held at Caulfield on Saturday.
Happy Trails started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a credible sixth place finish in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on August 8 and he is set to contest the Memsie Stakes for the fourth year in a row.
The veteran gelding contested the Memsie Stakes for the first time when he finished second behind Sincero in the 2012 edition of the race and he finished a credible seventh in 2013 before he was slightly disappointing when eighth last year.
Another experienced galloper that is set to contest the 2015 Memsie Stakes is Lloyd Williams-owned Fawkner, who has not been seen at the races since he finished a credible tenth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4.
Fawkner has been one of the most consistent performers in Australian racing over the past three years and he has been set for the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) once again after he finished a second behind Adelaide last year.
Peter Moody won the 2014 Memsie Stakes with Dissident and he has the chance to go back-to-back in the Group 1 event after he included progressive four-year-old Hi World in the final field.
Hi World started his autumn campaign with a close second behind Orient Line in the Saintly Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on March 7 and he went on to take out the Tab.com.au Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 25, the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at the same venue on April 18.
Moody has big aims for Hi World during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he showed that he was ready for a return to the races when he finished a close second behind Vancouver in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on July 31.
Volkstok’n’barrell was another three-year-old that thrived during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and the New Zealand Derby runner-up will return to Australian racing for the Memsie Stakes this weekend.
The Lord Tavistock gelding made his Australian racing debut with a narrow win over Preferment in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 21 and he was far from disgraced when third in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is the major spring goal for Volkstok’n’barrell and he is sure to take plenty of improvement out of the Memsie Stakes, but trainer Donna Logan is still confident that that the gelding can finish in the top five.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2015 Memsie Stakes field is imported stayer Dandino, who is set to have his first race start since he finished fourth in the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) at Kempton Park on September last year.
Dandino suffered a joint injury in the lead-up to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and connections considered sending the Dansili entire to stand at stud, but they instead opted to send the eight-year-old to Darren Weir and he has completed an extensive rehabilitation program ahead of his return to racing.
Another imported galloper that could return to the races in the Memsie Stakes after a lengthy stint on the sidelines is Trevieres.
Trevieres made his Australian racing debut with a second place finish behind Solzhenitsyn in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12, but he has not been seen at the races since.
The Gold Away gelding has been plagued by a number of niggling injuries, but co-trainer Craig Widdison believes that he can be competitive in the Memsie Stakes this weekend.
Chris Waller has included Group 1 winner Boban as well as Weary in the 2015 Memsie Stakes field, while Temple Of Boom, Smokin Joey, Magicool and Rising Romance are the other Group 1 winners in the field.
Sertorius, Prince Of Penzance, Entirely Platinum, Petrology and Setinum round out the Memsie Stakes field, while Stratum Star, Trevieres, Pressing and Charmed Harmony are the four emergencies.