The first Group 1 feature of the Spring Racing Carnival each year, the Memsie Stakes has been won by some of Australia’s greatest ever horses since its inception in 1899.
Horses like Phar Lap (1931), Ajax (1938/39/40) and Manikato (1982) all appear in the extensive list of Memsie Stakes winners, while some of the most recognisable names of the modern day have also stepped out and saluted in the race since the turn of the century.
The Memsie Stakes is frequently used by good horses as a lead-up race to longer features further into the Spring Carnival and that has certainly increased since it was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2013.
The 2016 Memsie Stakes winner, Black Heart Bart will seek to defend his crown at Caulfield on Saturday, but is sure to face plenty of resistance from the likes of Vega Magic, Le Romain and Yankee Rose.
2016 – Black Heart Bart
Outstanding galloper Black Heart Bart justified his clear favouritism with a dominant performance and victory in the most recent edition of the Memsie Stakes. A former Perth galloper, the Blackfriars gelding made an immediately impact upon debuting for Darren Weir during the preceding Autumn Carnival; failing to finish worse than second through five starts and posting a maiden Group 1 win in The Goodwood. Jumping from the gates well in the Memsie Stakes first-up, Black Heart Bart took an ideal position in transit just behind the pace and looked the winner 300m from home; eventually finding the line a length and a half ahead of closest rival Rising Romance.
2015 – Boban
Multiple Group 1 winner Boban enjoyed a resurgence of form in 2015 and recorded his fifth and final win at the highest level in the 2015 Memsie Stakes. Having taken out the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) during the Brisbane Winter Carnival of the same year, the Bernardini gelding was sent off the $5.50 favourite in a particularly open edition of the Memsie Stakes and settled midfield with cover, as Entirely Platinum and Setinum took up the early running. Jockey Glyn Schofield, who partnered Boban to each of his Group 1 wins, elected to hold a position on the fence leading into the final straight at Caulfield and was rewarded for the decision when the gelding produced a typically smart turn of foot.
2014 – Dissident
A strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career, Dissident mustered an impressive sprint in the final straight at Caulfield to win the 2014 Memsie Stakes; his first race as a four-year-old. Jumping from the gates well, jockey Ben Melham allowed the Sebring entire to stride forward and take a positive position close to the pace across the back straight. Experiencing a carefree run in transit, Melham was little more than a passenger in the final straight as Dissident strode up to race leader Sweet Idea and continued on his way to record a comfortable two-length win.
2013 – Atlantic Jewel
Outstanding mare Atlantic Jewel posted arguably the most impressive victory of her eleven-start career in the 2013 Memsie Stakes. Undefeated through seven starts prior to the Caulfield feature, the Fastnet Rock mare jumped extremely well in the Memsie Stakes, but allowed Ajeeb and Happy Trails to trade early blows at the fore of the field. Jockey Michael Rodd was successful in getting the daughter of Fastnet Rock to switch off in transit and she strode into the race as the field straightened; clearing harbouring a class edge over her rivals when shooting out to a five-length lead in the final 200m.
2012 – Sincero
Consistent performer Sincero was a multiple Group 1 winner during his racing career, but he was also triumphant in the 2012 edition of the Memsie Stakes; the last year the race was contested at Group 2 Level. Having trialled extremely well in the lead-up to the race, Sincero jumped a $3.50 favourite in the Memsie Stakes and after experiencing a carefree run in transit, comfortably put away his rivals to walk away a two-length winner over Happy Trails.
2011 – King’s Rose
A Group 1 winner in her native New Zealand, King’s Rose was unable to post an elusive win at the highest level during her time at Peter Moody’s Caulfield stables, but stamped herself as a mare to follow when she completed a perfectly-timed sprint to win the 2011 Group 2 Memsie Stakes, in what was her first appearance in Australia. Jockey Luke Nolen elected to settle the Redoute’s Choice mare within the field as Herculian Prince and Prince Obama dictated a fair tempo and allowed the horse plenty of time to balance upon arriving in the final straight, before asking for an extra effort. King’s Rose beat subsequent Cox Plate champion Pinker Pinker at her next start and was unlucky to finish in the minors of Australian Group 1 races on four subsequent occasions before retiring.
2010 – So You Think
Outstanding galloper So You Think most notably won both the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Cox Plate during his time two incredible years under the care of Bart Cummings, but those two wins also bookended an impressive performance and win in the 2010 edition of the Memsie Stakes. Jumping from the gates well, jockey Stephen Arnold allowed So You Think to stride forward and settle in an ideal position on the heels of leader Typhoon Tracy, who set only a fair early tempo. Easily overcoming the talented mare when the field straightened, So You Think locked in a fierce sprint battle with Whobegotyou with 200m to travel, but simply proved too strong for the Mark Kavanagh-trained gelding and pulled clear to find the line half-a-length ahead.
2009 – Mic Mac
The Greg Eurell-trained Mic Mac justified race favouritism when savaging the line for a near two-length win in the 2009 Memsie Stakes. Having comfortably won the Aurie’s Star Handicap first-up three weeks prior, the Statue Of Liberty gelding was allowed to steadily move through his gears by jockey Danny Nikolic in transit and was offered a clear racing line upon arriving at the final straight. Immediately responding when asked for an extra effort, Mic Mac kicked clear of his rivals to beat the likes of Whobegotyou and Zarita by more than a length.
2008 – Weekend Hussler
An outstanding field was taken for the 2009 Memsie Stakes, but it was talented galloper Weekend Hussler who produced a superior performance to walk away the race winner. Maldivian took up the early running in the 2008 Memsie Stakes and ensured that the race would be contested at a genuine tempo. Joined at the fore of the field at the Caulfield turn by leading West Australian Scenic Blast, it appeared as though the Memsie Stakes would conclude a race of two, however jockey Brad Rawiller was able to find clear passage aboard Weekend Hussler and the rest was history.
2007 – Miss Finland
A brilliant winner of the Golden Slipper in 2006, Miss Finland’s last ever race win came in the 2007 edition of the Memsie Stakes. The Redoute’s Choice mare had won five Group 1 titles by the time she took her placed in the Memsie Stakes field, but interestingly did not start a race favourite as punters rallied around several of her rivals, including Haradazone. Craig Williams, who rode the mare through much of her twenty-six career starts bided his time and allowed Miss Finland ample time to prepare before going for the whip. Mustering her signature turn of foot, Miss Finland added an eleventh win to an already glittering CV.