Memorial has flown under the radar heading into the 2015 Light Fingers Stakes at Royal Randwick tomorrow, but trainer John O’Shea believes that the talented filly is ready to fire first-up in the Group 2 event.
Memorial stamped herself as a filly to watch when she won her first two race starts by a combined total of six and a half lengths, but she has since been unable to return to winning form.
The Street Cry filly finished an unlucky second behind Alpha Miss in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on March 8, but she finished at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 before she produced a much improved performance two weeks later in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at the same venue on April 5.
Memorial started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a credible second place finish in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23, but she was sent to the spelling paddock after she finished at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on September 5.
O’Shea elected to give Memorial a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock, but she showed that she was ready for a return to racing with two impressive barrier trial performances at Warwick Farm on January 8 and January 27 and O’Shea told Racing Ahead that he believes the three-year-old is a genuine winning chance in the Light Fingers Stakes.
“We are happy with where she is at,” O’Shea said.
“She is a big, strong, robust mare.
“She didn’t winter well and was very moderate in the spring, but she is probably 35 kilos stronger and she has trialed well both times.
“The rain definitely helps her and worse than slow would really help her, but we are happy with where she is at.
“She is going to get a beautiful run from barrier four and she is primed to run well first-up whereas some of her opposition might have bigger fish to fry later on in the autumn and have significant improvement in them.
“We are going there tomorrow ready to perform well.”
Memorial is currently available at 2015 Light Fingers Stakes odds of $8.50 with Ladbrokes Australia, while Flight Stakes winner First Seal ($3.10) is a clear favourite from Golden Slipper winner Mossfun ($4) and Chris Waller-trained Winx ($6)