Classy stayer Big Memory has secured a 2014 Caulfield Cup berth just one week out from the headline race after displaying an exceptional turn of foot in the final straight to win the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield this afternoon.
Jumping from the gates well, Big Memory was immediately led forward and settled in prime position on the heels of early leaders Bonfire, Signoff and Sangster who set a fair tempo past the post the first time and over the back straight.
Rounding onto the final straight on the rails, jockey Tommy Berry identified a gap left by Bonfire and charged the Duke Of Marmalade gelding to the lead, maintaining a strong enough sprint to withstand a late charge from Signoff; Let’s Make Adeal running on for third.
Tommy Berry delivered an excellent ride on Big Memory in the 2014 Herbert Power Stakes and was quick to praise the efforts of his classy partner.
“He travelled sweet for me mid-race and then James’s horse (Bonfire) wanted to get up from about a half mile and I got the step-up inside him, my bloke was hanging out a little bit as well,” Berry said.
“James unfortunately dropped off and he didn’t want to duck out too quick at the top of the straight but he straightened himself out and it was a good win in the end.
“He had all the opportunities today; he had a light weight at 53kgs, had all the opportunities in the running where all the favoured horses had to work a bit and it would have only been his own undoing getting beaten.”
Trainer Tony McEvoy was understandably pleased with Big Memory’s performance in the 2014 Herbert Power Stakes and confirmed next week’s Caulfield Cup will figure should the four-year-old pull-up well from his run this afternoon.
“If he pulls up well, very exciting – we thought we had him right for today and really great effort and if he pulls up well he’ll run in the Cup,” McEvoy said.
“The horse has got around Melbourne fine before, maybe it was the Sydney jockey that wobbled a bit around the corner,” the trainer said in jest of the turn onto the final straight.
“He’s a really good stayer and should just get better and better.”
Believing his horse, second-placed Signoff had been hindered in running rounding onto the straight; Glen Boss lodged an unsuccessful protest against Big Memory and Tommy Berry.