Trainer Clinton McDonald is hoping that Melbourne’s unpredictable weather has a surprise in store this weekend and serves up a rain affected track for proven mudlark Second Effort in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Second Effort followed up his victory in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) with a solid third behind 2013 Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 17 and according to McDonald has come out of the race in excellent condition.
McDonald set the Memsie Stakes as the ‘grand final’ for Second Effort at the start of his preparation but admits that the Mossman gelding is unlikely to be a winning chance on a dry track against a hot field featuring a number of leading 2013 Spring Racing Carnival contenders.
“He has come through that run in terrific order and his work this morning was really strong,” McDonald told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“He is in great shape, whether he is going to be good enough on a dry track is probably the question mark but we are heading towards there at this stage.
“If the track was rain affected, you would probably be really confident because I feel that he has trained on well.”
Despite naming the Memsie Stakes as the major goal for the tough gelding, McDonald plans to keep the seven-year-old in work and search for some wet tracks to add his stellar record of nine wins from eleven starts on rain-affected going.
“If it is not going to be Saturday we will find a wet track for him sometime during the spring,” McDonald said.
“There is no reason not to, he is a seven-year-old and he seems to be at the top of his game.
“He is the type of horse that only needs one gallop to bring up to speed, so we will be patient and wait for the track to suit.”
McDonald is chasing his second victory in the Memsie Stakes after winning the race with Regal Roller in 2004.