The Patrick Payne trained trained Widgee Turf looks likely to bypass a start in the Group 1 $1m Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday and continue his 2018 Spring Carnival campaign in Adelaide.
As well as being nominated for the Memsie Stakes, Widgee Turf is also an entrant in the Listed $100,000 Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Parks, the race that Payne is leaning towards.
“I think he should go to the Penny Edition in Adelaide,” Payne told AAP.
“It just looks a more achievable event and he tries really hard and I don’t want to dishearten him against horses that are too good for him at level weights.
“He (jockey Billy Egan) rode him really well (in the Lawrence) and the horse ran as good as what he can. But the others will start improving a bit more from now onwards.
“We’d revisit a better race at handicaps on soft ground. That would be his opportunity to try to win one of those better races, I would have thought.”
Widgee Turf ran at his best with a last start third behind Showtime and Hartnell in the Group 2 $200,000 Sir John Monash P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18 and Payne admits that the Memsie Stakes would be a lot tougher for the five year old.
The prospect of a wet surface for Morphettville Parks doesn’t worry Payne with three of Widgee Turf’s nine wins being on rain affected tracks.
Top Adelaide rider Todd Pannell has been booked to ride Widgee Turf in the Penny Edition Stakes.
The Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic has been installed the pre-post $2.80 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to win back to back Memsie Stakes but is set to face some tough opposition, including Group 1 winners Hartnell, Happy Clapper, Black Heart Bart, Humdor, Grunt and Kementari as well as P.B. Lawrence Stakes winner Showtime.
Vega Magic kicked off his 2018 Spring Carnival with a brilliant first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Big Screen Company Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28.