Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc is ready to face the toughest test of his career when he lines up against the older horses in the 2017 Group 1 weight for age $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield today.
The twelve horse field for the Memsie Stakes remains intact with last year’s winner and number one saddlecloth holder Black Heart Bart with Bard Rawiller in the saddle to lead the star studded line up onto the track.
Market mover Hey Doc has drawn the rails with Luke Currie in the saddle again and the Duporth four year old has had plenty of support in the early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au in the lead up to the Memsie Stakes and has firmed in from $7 to be $5.50 on race morning while Shane Nichols’ Group 1 winning mare I Am A Star has also firmed up in the betting from $19 to $12.
Trainer Tony McEvoy has Hey Doc primed to step up to the 1400m second up and considers that distance to be perfect for him at this stage if his Spring Carnival campaign following his first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 12.
“1400m is perfect and second-up is perfect so here we are,” McEvoy said.
Hey Doc was a winner over 1400m second up during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Carnival when he beat Malaise in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes at Flemington on February 18 before going on to claim a Group 1 victory against the three year olds in the $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 4.
“His C.S. Hayes win (February) was his dominant performance of his career so far,” McEvvoy said.
The horse to beat in the Memsie Stakes is the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic (Craig Williams, barrier 3) who remains solid at the top of the market order at $2.60 ahead of Hey Doc at $5.50, Le Romain at $6 and last year’s Memsie Stakes winner Black Heart Bart at $6.50.
Vega Magic scored an impressive first up win for the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 20 and then returned to the race track after a short break for a tough win with 60.5kg on his back in the Listed $120,000 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.