Crown Oaks winner Set Square won’t be lining up in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday and will use the easier Open Handicap as her Spring Carnival pipe opener.
Trainer Ciaron Maher nominated Set Square for three races and as well as the Memsie Stakes, she was also entered in the $90,000 Open Handicap over 1400m and the $80,000 Mares Handicap over the same distance.
Maher considers the weight for age Memsie Stakes a tough first up assignment and in the mares Handicap Set Square was allocated 61.5kg top weight while in the Open Handicap she has only been asked to carry 58kg.
“I’m going to run her in the open handicap, I think,” Maher told AAP.
It’s a decent Memsie this year,” Maher said.
“It is going to be a full field and I just think being a mare first-up, I think where she gets in on the weights it’s a better option in the handicap.”
Maher has labelled the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17 as Set Square’s main Spring Carnival goal.
“Four-year-old mares have got a good record in it. That’s her aim and hopefully she comes up to the mark,” Maher said.
Maher has given Set Square one barrier trial at Cranbourne over 800m and a jump out at Caulfield in preparation for her comeback run and expects her to benefit greatly from Saturday’s outing.
“She’s still got a fair bit of condition on her and her goals are a bit later but it’s a nice kick-off for her,” Maher said.
“She’s a bigger, stronger mare now and I’m looking forward to getting her back to the races.
Set Square showed great staying potential during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival as she worked her way up through the classes before scoring a one and half lengths win over Thunder Lady in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.
The Reset filly started off her Autumn Carnival in great style with a first up second in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 21 followed by a third in the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on March 14.
Set Square then lined up in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28 but failed to threaten, finishing almost five lengths from the winner Fenway and was then set for a spell.
Thirty-nine horses have been entered for the Open Handicap with Set Square at number four in the order of entry with the inform Charmed Harmony at number five.
The John Sadler trained Charmed Harmony is a winner at his last three starts and the front runner has also been nominated for the Memsie Stakes but looks unlikely to gain a start in the Group 1 weight for age as he is number twenty-four of twenty-six in the order of entry.
Set Square is currently listed as a $41 chance for the Caulfield Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au.