Western Australian pin up- horse Luckygray, now trained at Caulfield by Robert Smerden, is looking to break his Melbourne duck when he lines up in the Group 1 $350,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Luckygray, the winner of two Group 1 races in Perth, is yet to win from five attempts in the eastern states and Smerdon admits that Saturday’s race will be s solid test.
The popular grey has had one run for Smerdon and even though he finished sixth to Broken in the Group 3 $150,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, the trainer wasn’t too disappointed.
“He seems good. He needed the run and looks to have improved off it. So I’m happy with him,” Smerdon told AAP.
“It will be a pretty deep task for him.”
“That’s an impressive line-up, but we’ll just see what he does and that will tell us where we go next with him.”
Luckygray’s Memsie Stakes effort will determine if Smerdon sticks to weight for age races during the Spring Carnival or switches to handicaps such as the Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 29 and the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
Luckygray established a cult following in Western Australia in 2011 when he strung together multiple victories before winning the Group 1 $1m Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot that year.
He continued his winning form during the winter of 2012 before his Perth trainer Gino Poletti ventured to Melbourne for the Spring where the best of his two starts was a fourth in the Group 2 $220,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18.
Poletti returned home too Perth after Luckygray finished worse than midfield in the Memsie Stakes and brought him back to his best with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch.Mobi – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 8.
The Memsie Stakes, which has been upgraded from a Group 2 race, is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the Melbourne Spring Carnival with a star studded field expected to make up the first Group 1 of the season.
The early withdrawal of Sincero because a hoof injury has left the likelihood of Luckygray lining up against nine other individual Group 1 winners including the unbeaten Atlantic Jewel, stablemate Super Cool and star New Zealander four year old It’s A Dundeel.