Big Memory has been backed into 2015 Australian Cup odds of $41, but trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed that he is simply using the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow as a stopgap run for the talented stayer.
Big Memory returned to racing with a promising fourth in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield on February 14 and he was not disgraced with 60 kilograms on his back in the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield on February 28, but McEvoy told Racing Ahead that the Duke Of Marmalade gelding needed another race start before he steps-up in trip for races like the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on March 28 and the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
“His two runs back have been extremely good and I think that the horse is coming up well,” McEvoy said.
“He is acting more and more like a mile and a half horse now, so the Mornington Cup is still his main goal heading towards the Sydney Cup.
“I hadn’t really planned to run him in the Australian Cup, but the horse has just done so well and he needs another good race to get him to a mile and a half.
“This is the only one suitable really.”
Big Memory was ridden close to the speed in the early stages of the Carlyon Cup and Mornington Cup Prelude, but McEvoy believes that jockey Mark Zahra will have limited options when he jumps from barrier 15 in the Group 1 event.
McEvoy feels that the presence of The Cleaner means that there will be no advantage pressing forward in the early stages of the race and he will be happy for Zahra to settle Big Memory at the tail of the field.
“He is probably going to have to go back from there,” McEvoy said.
“There looks to be too much pressure up front in this race with The Cleaner to be pressing forward and we will probably ride him patient.”
There has been a sprinkling of support for Big Memory in the 2015 Australian Cup betting market with Ladbrokes, but triple Group 1 winner Happy Trails remains a clear favourite and has been backed into $4.60.
The Australian Cup odds of 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist have continued to lengthen and he is out to $5.50, while there has been a little bit of money for Foreteller ($12 into $10), Au Revoir ($18 into $17) and Entirely Platinum ($31 into $26).