Trainer Mick Price is on the lookout for a new jockey for his Australian Guineas winner Grunt when he lines up in the Group 1 $1m Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 1.
High profile jockey Damien Oliver has been aboard Grunt for his last three starts but has been booked to ride the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic in the $1 million weight for age race on Saturday week.
“A new rider for Grunt in the Memsie still needs to be decided, Damien is not available and Michael Walker is in Sydney on Memsie Stakes Day so we’ll have to work that ou,” Price told racing.com.
Oliver first teamed up the Grunt for a win in the Group 3 $150,000 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and the pair also combined for a win in the Group 1 $1m Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3.
Grunt has had one run back from a spell and with Oliver in the saddle finished a solid fifth to Showtime in the Group 2 $200,000 Sir John Monash P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18.
Price had originally planned to step Grunt straight up to 1600m in the Group 1 $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 15 but a change of heart will see the four year old have one more run at 1400m in the Memsie Stakes.
“I’m going to run Grunt in the Memsie Stakes, he’s pulled up very well and he’s a four-year-old entire, he needs another run I think,” Price said.
“Four weeks between the Lawrence and the Makybe Diva Stakes is just too long so I’ve decided to give him a run at Caulfield.”
Vega Magic, with Oliver in the saddle, returned for the 2018 Spring Carnival with a stunning three lengths win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Big Screen Company Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28 and was immediately snapped up by James Harron to run in his slot in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
All In betting for the Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Grunt marked at $10 while Vega Magic sits at the top of the market order at $2.75, ahead of Kementari at $4.50 and Happy Clapper at $5.50.
Early betting for the 2018 Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.75 Vega Magic, $4.50 Kementari, $5.50 Happy Clapper, $10 Grunt, Voodoo Lad, Showtime, $14 Black Heart Bart, Kings Will Dream, $16 Humidor, $21 D’Argento, Le Romain, Santa Ana Lane, $26 Danon Liberty, Dollar For Dollar, Hey Doc, Home Of The Brave, Perast, Single Gaze, $34 or better the rest.