An impressive list of 16 runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s featured Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, highlighted by several previous champions at the highest level of Australian racing.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to be offered two good chances of success in the 2014 Memsie Stakes, nominating classy pair Boban and Foreteller.
The standout performer of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Boban secured a perfect record of five wins from as many starts, including both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) most notably.
Adding the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) to his list of achievements over a slightly in-consistent 2014 autumn campaign, Boban ran on to claim a credible fourth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up on August 9th, and appears primed for his return to Group 1 company this weekend.
Charging home to beat fellow Memsie Stakes nominee Puissance De Lune in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) most notably last spring, Waller is confident Foreteller’s class and weight-for-age experience will count for a lot in the season’s first Group 1 this weekend.
“Genuine weight-for-age horses these days are few and far between, but he’s one of them,” Waller told the Herald Sun of the Dansili gelding.
“I’m the first to admit he’s not the best horse Australia’s ever seen but he’s been great for his connections and has been a tremendous money-spinner.”
Team Hawkes are poised to launch a two-pronged attack on the 2014 Memsie Stakes, including exciting stable mates Messene and Toydini in nominations.
Running on to finish a close second behind fellow Memsie Stakes nominee Sweet Idea in the Missile Stakes first-up on August 9th, Messene was nominated for last weekend’s featured Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, but was scratched from the race on account of a rain-soaked running surface.
Yet to claim a Group 1 victory, co-trainer Michael Hawkes told the Sydney Morning Herald the team in pleased they chose not to field the Lonhro gelding in the Warwick Stakes, and believe the early trip to Melbourne for the Memsie will also suit the path settled on for the six-year-old’s spring campaign.
“He could have run in a Group 2 over 1400m that he probably couldn’t have won on that heavy track, but now he gets a shot at a Group 1,” Hawkes said.
“The thing with going to Melbourne this early is he will probably stay there for the rest of the spring because we don’t want him to be going up and down the highway.
“We have always believed he is good enough to win one (Group 1).”
Figuring as Waterhouse’s sole nominee for the 2014 Memsie Stakes, Sweet Idea more than stamped her claims as a serious contender through the Spring Racing Carnival with her impressive win in the Missile Stakes and is on track for maiden Group 1 success this weekend, according to the Randwick trainer.
“I think she is looking for the 1400m and it might prove to be her best trip,” Waterhouse said.
“She has done everything but win a Group 1, and that will come sooner rather than later.”
Securing early favouritism for the 2013 Melbourne Cup on the back of a string of strong and consistent results, Puissance De Lune was forced into the spelling paddock after suffering a tendon injury during the running of the 2013 Cox Plate (2040m); an ailment which also kept the classy grey out of action for the entirety of the 2014 Autumn Carnival.
Confirming the 2014 edition of the Melbourne Cup is off the table, trainer Darren Weir is confident the Shamardal entire is capable of returning to peak condition through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, and is excited by the prospect of the 2014 Memsie Stakes.
Amongst remaining nominees for the 2014 Memsie Stakes are the likes of four-time Group 1 champion Silent Achiever, 2013 Cox Plate runner-up Happy Trails and talented Peter Moody-trained champions Dissident and Moment of Change, with a final field of 16 and barrier draw due to be released on Wednesday morning.