Caulfield Racecourse will play host to an outstanding day of racing on Saturday, highlighted by the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
Five black type races will be contested during the nine-race card at Caulfield on Memsie Stakes Day and we have analysed every horse in each, in order to help you find a winner.
The Memsie Stakes Day action will officially get underway with the running of the Sheen Group Plate (1400m) at 12:25pm, while the feature race is slated to run at 4:10pm.
Race 1 (12:25pm) Sheen Group Plate (1400m)
Eight horses will step out in Race 1 on Memsie Stakes Day, including Mahlani (barrier 5). The Swiss Ace filly has performed well through two starts this time and is rock-hard hit ahead of this race. Hard Faith (barrier 1) faces a step up in class, but mustered an impressive turn of foot to win at Geelong on August 11th and is a good chance at each-way odds with a light weight. Play That Song (barrier 3) is yet to post a maiden race win, but performed well first-up, will take plenty of improvement into this race and is weighted to win. Judy In Disguise (barrier 2) is drawn ideally, will be partnered by Blake Shinn and would also not look out of place in the winner’s stall.
Tip: No. 5 Hard Faith – Each Way ($15/$4.10)
Race 2 (1:00pm) Chandler Macleod Plate (1400m)
14 mares have been confirmed in an open field for Race 2 on Memsie Stakes Day. Risque (barrier 13) clearly required a run when she returned from more than a year in the paddock a fortnight ago, but she has reportedly taken plenty of benefit from the hit-out and will be far better second-up. Schism (barrier 2) failed to fire last time out, but she won each of her three starts prior to that occasion and is drawn to get a far better run this weekend. Rocket Commander (barrier 14) has a class edge on most of this field, but she has only been fair through two starts this time and will need to improve, particularly after drawing an awkward gate. Swampland (barrier 5) has been absolutely flying this time in and is seeking a fourth-consecutive race win. Drawn and weighted ideally, the Redwood mare is undoubtedly the horse to beat.
Tip: No. 11 Swampland ($4.40)
Race 3 (1:40pm) HockingStuart Plate (1200m)
An impressive and capacity field of runners has been confirmed for Race 3 and there is a case to be made for many horses. Theanswermyfriend (barrier 18) finished an agonizingly-close second first-up and has been charged with overcoming 60kgs and an awkward barrier in this race. Highland Beat (barrier 5) and Saint Valorem (barrier 12) have both posted impressive wins this time in and are both live chances once more on Saturday, while Bezel (barrier 6) has not been seen at the races since autumn, but is a smart first-up performer and is drawn ideally, with the advantage of Craig Williams in the saddle. Japanese import Hallelujah Boy (barrier 15) will make his Australian debut in this race and has shown plenty of speed and ability in a handful of trials.
Tip: No. 14 Hallelujah Boy – Each Way ($15/$5.10)
Race 4 (2:15pm) Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m)
Ten horses remain in contention for Saturday’s Group 3 McNeil Stakes following the scratching of leading contender Bel Sonic. The undefeated Merchant Navy (barrier 4) has not been seen at the races since April, but he is arguably the class horse of the McNeil Stakes field and is drawn to get an ideal run in transit. Trekking (barrier 2) will have a fitness edge after finishing third in The Rosebud (1200m) first-up and could receive the run of the race from an inside draw, while Poseidon’s Pool (barrier 1) and Ploverset (barrier 5) both ran on well at their last appearances and will only improve into this race. Sydney horse Hualalai (barrier 11) has reportedly taken well to his time in Victoria, is at terrific odds and is worth consideration as an each-way chance at current McNeil Stakes odds.
Tip: No. 4 Hualalai – Each Way ($12/$3.40)
Race 5 (2:50pm) Group 3 Ladbrokes Cockram Stakes (1200m)
A classy field of mares will step out for this year’s Ladbrokes Cockram Stakes, including Fuhryk (barrier 3). The talented sprinter posted a number of outstanding results through autumn and is drawn for a first-up win in the Cockram Stakes, with Craig Williams in the saddle. Ana Royale (barrier 9) stamped herself as a filly to follow through an impressive three-year-old campaign, but she may require this run and increased distance to find her most devastating form. Jennifer Lynn (barrier 8) did not find her best ability in autumn, but has trialled well in the lead-up to this race, while Queensland mare Savanna Amour (barrier 5) should carry plenty of benefit into this race and will enjoy a step back to mare’s company. Sullivan Bay (barrier 7) has found strong and consistent form this time in and should be right in the finish once more on Saturday.
Tip: No. 2 Fuhryk ($3)
Race 6 (3:30pm) Group 3 The Heath (1100m)
An impressive field of sprinters will contest The Heath and Group 1 winner Sheidel (barrier 3) is shaping as the horse to beat. Resuming in autumn for a maiden win at the highest level in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m), the Holy Roman Emperor mare continued to produce excellent performances and results through her subsequent preparation and is primed for another big first-up run in The Heath. Voodoo Lad (barrier 7) ran second in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up in autumn and will also take plenty of beating in this race, while Kiwi entire Saracino (barrier 12) has the class to overcome a race-high 59kgs and tough draw. So Si Bon (barrier 5) flew home to finish a close second first-up at Flemington a fortnight ago and will only improve into this race.
Tip: No. 2 Voodoo Lad ($4)
Race 7 (4:10pm) Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m)
An outstanding field has been taken for this year’s Memsie Stakes and there is a case to be made for almost all 12 runners. Defending champion Black Heart Bart (barrier 5) ran on well to finish third in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago and will take plenty of improvement into this race, while stable mates Tosen Stardom (barrier 4) and Humidor (barrier 11) will both also carry plenty of benefit into the Memsie Stakes after performing well in the same race. Vega Magic (barrier 3) flew home to win the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) first-up and is undoubtedly the horse to beat from barrier 3 and with Craig Williams in the saddle, while Hey Doc (barrier 1) won the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) first-up and is a live chance. Le Romain (barrier 6) is the unknown quantity in this field, but ran second in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up and won the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at the Victorian way of going last spring.
Tip: No. 5 Vega Magic ($2.70)
Race 8 (4:50pm) Listed Heatherlie Stakes (1700m)
The final black type race on Memsie Stakes Day will be contested when 15 horses step out for the Heatherlie Stakes. Potential Melbourne Cup prospects Assign (barrier 13) and Amralah (barrier 6) will both contest the race first-up and while they have a class edge on much of the Heatherlie Stakes field, will likely both require the run. Tally (barrier 8) savaged the line to finish second in a Flemington 1400m first-up and will relish a step-up to 1700m. Hell Or Highwater (barrier 14) is seeking a third-consecutive win, but faces a notable step up in class and has been charged with overcoming a tough draw. Group 1 winner Montoya’s Secret (barrier 5) is drawn and weighted ideally and will be better under the conditions of this race.
Tip: No. 3 Tally ($7)
Race 9 (5:25pm) Comcater Handicap (1400m)
A talented and capacity field will contest the final race on 2017 Memsie Stakes Day. Former Perth galloper Chocolate Holic (barrier 18) is yet to make much of an impact in two starts for Darren Weir, but should be approaching peak fitness and is faced with his easiest task so far in this race. Hardham (barrier 3), Tarquin (barrier 19) and Great Esteem (barrier 5) are all more than capable amongst this company, but are also all resuming and could need the run. Yesterday’s Songs (barrier 4) has a fitness edge and while he’s been reasonably inconsistent this time, is capable of jagging a big performance and result on Saturday.
Tip: No. 13 Souchez – Each Way ($10/$3.70)