2015 McNeil Stakes Distance To Suit Top Me Up

By: Thomas Hackett
August 27th, 2015

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is confident that the step-up to 1200 metres will suit Top Me Up in the 2015 McNeil Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.

Top Me Up (inside) finished a close second behind Gold Symphony in the 2015 Vain Stakes at Caulfield on August 15. Photo by:  Adrienne Bicknell

Top Me Up (inside) finished a close second behind Gold Symphony in the 2015 Vain Stakes at Caulfield on August 15. Photo by: Adrienne Bicknell

Top Me Up is yet to produce a poor performance since he made his racing debut in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Sandown on January 26 and he was only narrowly denied victory in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August, but he is still chasing his maiden race win.

Hawkes told Racing Ahead that he was thrilled with the performance of Top Me Up in the Vain Stakes and he believes that the Exceed And Excel gelding has trained on strongly ahead of the 2015 McNeil Stakes.

“He ran super the other day,” Hawkes said.

“He was just a bit tardy out of the gates and if he jumped cleanly he probably leads and that might have been the difference between winning and running second.

“His form is very, very good without winning and he has no reason not to front up.

“He was the most relaxed I have ever seen him work on Tuesday and then the same again this morning, so he is in a good way and he is in a good mood.”

Top Me Up will have his first race start over 1200 metres in the McNeil Stakes and Hawkes believes that the step-up in distance could be what the three-year-olds needs to record his maiden race win.

Hawkes said that jockey Dwayne Dunn will settle Top Me Up right on the speed in the early stages of the McNeil Stakes and he is hopeful that the gelding will prove tough to run down when the whips are cracking.

“He used to run on his nerves, but now that he is a gelding he is relaxing all the time,” Hawkes said.

“He is another one that is going to lead or be box-seat and I think that the 1200 is going to suit him down to the ground.

“100 metres or 200 metres in a race just chances the whole perspective and it is amazing how horses that run out a strong 1400 metres can’t get a mile.

“It can make them or break them.”

Top Me Up is currently available at 2015 McNeil Stakes odds of $11 with Ladbrokes, while Prince Of Brooklyn ($3.80) and Ready For Victory ($3.80) are both locked in a battle for favouritism.

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