The remainder of Messene’s Spring Carnival program will be guided by his performance in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Sydney’s wet weather last weekend forced Team Hawkes to change course when the heavy track conditions resulted in the scratching of Messene from the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
A start in the Memsie Stakes will be Messene’s first taste of weight for age at Group 1 level but he showed that he will have no trouble handling it after running second to Sweet Idea in the Group 2 WFA $175,000 McGrath Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 9.
Michael Hawkes who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne, said that Messene was likely to return to Sydney for the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 4 but a definite plan would be formulated following his performance in the Memsie Stakes.
“We’ll head to Melbourne, run in the Memsie, then see what happens after that.” Michael Hawkes told TVN.
“He might come back to Sydney for the Epsom – time will tell.”
“That’s the beauty of having the stables in Melbourne and Sydney – we can have the horses where they are best suited.”
Messene will be taking on a slick weight for age field that includes six Group 1 winners with the Peter Moody trained Dissident and Chris Waller’s Boban also bypassing the Warwick Stakes because of the soggy Randwick track to contest the Memsie Stakes.
Dissident will have Ben Melham to ride and has drawn midfield at five and Moody will also saddle up Caulfield 1400m specialist Moment Of Change who drew eight with Luke Nolen to ride.
Glyn Schofield will retain his association with Boban who drew near the outside of the eleven horse field at gate nine while Gai Waterhouse has last start Missile Stakes winner Sweet Idea with Craig Neweitt to ride to jump from gate ten.
Dwayne Dunn, who will be replacing James McDonald on Messene, is ceratin to secure a cosy run from barrier four and will be renewing his association with the six year old after partnering him to his maiden win at Sandown in March 2012.
He was also aboard when the pair finished down the track at Moonee Valley in February 2013.
The Paul Beshara trained Group 1 winner Happy Trails will lead the field out with Michael Rodd taking the ride for the first time and will be able to give the seven year old plenty of time to settle from gate two.
Cox Plate favourite Silent Achiever, barrier three, will have the services of Damien Oliver for the first time at her first run back since finishing fourth to It’ A Dundeel in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.
The Roger James mare had won her three previous starts at Group 1 level including the $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and the $1.5m The BMW (2400m) both at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Group 1 Australian Cup winner Super Cool, barrier seven with Glen Boss, and Sertorius, barrier eleven with Craig Williams, are also resuming from a spell.
Premiership winning trainer Darren Weir will be looking for an improved performance from Puissance De Lune who should be given the run of the race by Brad Rawiller from the inside gate.
The ever consistent Gig, barrier 6 with Vald Duric to ride again, showed that he is not far off Group 1 company with a last start third to Star Rolling in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16.
Moment Of Change has been installed the early $4.80 favourite for the Memsie Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of Messene at $5, Puissance De Lune at $6 and Boban at $6.50.