Big Memory is considered one of the leading chances for the 2014 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville this afternoon, but trainer Tony McEvoy admits that he is unsure whether the imported stayer is capable of running a strong 3200 metres.
Big Memory joined the McEvoy stable from France at the end of 2012 but, unlike the majority of gallopers that are purchased from Europe, did not race over staying distances; with his win in the Prix De La Porte Nadon at Fontainbebleau in 2012 his only race start over 1800 metres.
The Duke Of Marmalade gelding started his second campaign in Australia with two second place finishes in the Tracy Placement People Handicap (1400m) at Ballarat on November 24 and the Tattsbet Handicap (1600m) at Morphettville on December 7, but has produced his best form since being given his first opportunity over staying trips.
Big Memory scored his first race win in Australia when he took out the ATC Membership On Sale Handicap (1900m) at Canterbury on December 28 and finished a narrow second behind Travolta in the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick on January 25 before stamping himself as one of the favourites for the 2014 Adelaide Cup with a dominant win in the Listed Torney Night Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on February 21.
McEvoy has been thrilled with the performances of Big Memory this preparation and, based on his past two performances, is hopeful that the four-year-old will relish the step-up to 3200 metres for the first time in his career.
“You never know whether they will get 3200 metres until you give them a go but the way he has performed at his past two starts makes me think he will get the trip,” McEvoy told AAP.
“He has the depth of pedigree to say he will.”
Big Memory may have the opportunity to have multiple starts over 3200 metres this preparation; with the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 on the agenda for the progressive gelding, if he performs well in the 2014 Adelaide Cup this weekend.
Cooldini ($3.10) remains a narrow favourite in 2014 Adelaide Cup betting markets, but there has been plenty of support for Big Memory who is currently available at a quote of $3.30.
McEvoy is chasing his second win in the Adelaide Cup after taking out the 1998 edition of the race with The Hind.