The Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday is set to be the race of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival with eleven Group 1 winners included in the nominations for the recently upgraded race.
The race will be a major form guide for the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup with a number of the leading chances for all three major events to clash this weekend.
The incredible field is headlined by wonder mare Atlantic Jewel who is set to return to the races for the first time since her victory in the 2012 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in April last year.
A serious tendon injury has kept Atlantic Jewel away from the races but an impressive jump-out performance at Flemington earlier this month indicated that the equine superstar was back to the form she exhibited that led to comparisons being made with the great Black Caviar.
Atlantic Jewel will be joined in the Memsie Stakes field by Super Cool who stamped himself as a potential weight-for-age star with a narrow victory over Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington earlier this year.
Also making his debut as a four-year-old will be three-year-old Triple Crown winner It’s A Dundeel who arrived in Melbourne last week for what could be a lengthy spring carnival campaign.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is the major target for the son of High Chaparral but the Melbourne Cup (3200m) could also be on the agenda for the Australian Derby winner.
One horse that is certain to be heading to the Melbourne Cup is Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente who has gone from strength to strength since arriving in Australia last year.
The six-year-old finished second in the 2012 Melbourne Cup in his first run in Australia and demonstrated his versatility by finishing third behind All Too Hard and Rain Affair in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival.
Macedon Lodge is a chance to have two runners in the race, with Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon joined by the promising Seville who is returning from injury, while leading trainer Peter Moody has included My Quest For Peace and Strawberry Boy in the nominations.
Other 2013 Spring Racing Carnival contenders that are a chance to contest the Memsie Stakes are Emirates Stakes winner Happy Trails, veteran King Mufhasa, last year’s winner Sincero and New Zealand galloper Silent Achiever.