It is Melbourne’s turn to host a Group One, with the Memsie Stakes to be run over 1,400m at Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday. We have analysed every aspect of the race to provide you with a runner by runner preview, along with our best Memsie Stakes tips. Behemoth, who won the race last year, tops the market at $4.20 (via Sportsbet on Thursday afternoon), but there are plenty of challengers to steal the crown.
The final field of 12 horses includes seven that have won at group one level while there is a good mixture of horses returning from a spell and those that will bring in some solid race fitness.
1. Fifty Stars (6) – $27
Jockey – John Allen
Trainer – Tom Dabernig
First run for Fifty Stars under the sole training of Tom Dabernig he has high hopes for the seven-year-old. Has won first up and has three wins from 10 starts at the distance, but may find this a bit sharp against some of these. Would benefit from a fast pace set up front, which could happen. Over the odds but not a winner.
2. Behemoth (9) – $4.20
Jockey – Brett Prebble
Trainer – David Jolly
The defending champ has returned in good condition, as shown in his G3 Spring Stakes run, against Beau Rossa. Is 3:2-0-0 at the track/distance and won’t care if the track is a good4 or soft5. Will have his first run under Jamie Kah, with Williams sticking on Tofane and the wide draw may undo his usual running pattern and a late drift wouldn’t surprise.
2020 Memsie Stakes winner, Behemoth, has drawn gate 9️⃣ this year.
Can he go back-to-back? @MelbRacingClub
— Racing.com (@Racing) August 25, 2021
3. Streets Of Avalon (10) – $19
Jockey – Dean Yendall
Trainer – Shane Nichols
Shane Nichols is bullish about his geldings chances for a second straight 1400m run at Caulfield. Was found mildly lame after going down as a short priced favourite in the P.B. Lawrence and, reportedly, is at 100% for this one so may be over the odds.
4. Archedemus (11) – $81
Jockey – Fred Kersley
Trainer – M, W & J Hawkes
Happy to leave out. Wide draw doesn’t help his forward running pattern given there is speed on his inside. Hasn’t placed in his last four second up runs.
5. Red Can Man (8) – $21
Jockey – Michael Dee
Trainer – David Brideoake
One to watch with the track conditions. Needs a genuine good track to compete with these and with no rain expected between now and race time, he could get it. Was a strong third in the P.B. Lawrence but the class lifts again in this race.
6. Sansom (2) – $35
Jockey – Ben Allen
Trainer – Phillip Stokes
The only runner to have more than two wins with his jockey as Ben Allen has ridden him 12 times for eight wins. In saying that, he has never run in a Group One and has to compete under weight-for-age conditions against some genuine Group One horses.
7. Aegon (7) – $10
Jockey – Jye McNeil
Trainer – M Baker & A Forsman
One of two exciting four-year-olds in the race. The Kiwi has five wins from seven starts but is just one win from three starts in Australia. Is 2/2 first up and 2/2 at 1400m but has never contested at weight-for-age or carried this much weight in a race before. Also needs some give in the turf (6:5-0-0 on soft compared to one run on good for a 3.4L sixth) and likely won’t get that.
Who’s with Aegon in the Memsie Stakes?
— Racing.com (@Racing) August 26, 2021
8. Beau Rossa (1) – $9.50
Jockey – Linda Meech
Trainer – Will Clarken
Beat Behemoth passed the post in the G3 Spring Stakes but finished second on a protest. This will be his toughest test to date and will be doing it from the front of the pack, but has never contested at weight-for-age and hasn’t won in two third up runs. Could surprise given his fitness.
9. Colette (12) – $11
Jockey – Damien Oliver
Trainer – James Cummings
Interesting runner for Godolphin. Is a bit of a fan favourite but this is her first run in Melbourne and first run in the anti-clockwise direction. She also relishes a rain-affected surface and won’t get this in this one. Impressive first up win in the Autumn, comfortably beating Verry Elleegant and Kolding, who went on to win Group Ones later that prep, but that was on a soft7.
10. Tofane (4) – $4.40
Jockey – Craig Williams
Trainer – Michael Moroney
Aiming to be the first horse since Winx to win three straight Group Ones. She had a wonderful Winter Carnival with a 2nd before two Group One wins over 1400m, in the Stradbroke Handicap and Tatt’s Tiara. The query will be whether 1400m is too sharp first up, especially considering she is 5:0-1-1 off a break. However Willow chose to stay on her instead of Behemoth, the residual fitness from a late finish should hold strong and she has drawn perfectly.
11. Inspirational Girl (3) – $7
Jockey – Damian Lane
Trainer – Danny O’Brien
One of the more intriguing runners in the field, Inspirational Girl comes to Melbourne for her first run since a narrow second in the G1 Kingston Town Classic, all the way back in early December. The mare has an incredible record of finishing in the placings in all 12 of her career starts but this is her first run outside of WA and there are questions on how that form stacks up. She is obviously talented, given she has a 1st and a 2nd from her two Group One runs but it has been nine months between competitive runs.
12. Sierra Sue (5) – SCRATCHED
Jockey – Luke Currie
Trainer – T Busuttin & N Young
The most in-form and fit runner of the field, Sierra Sue comes in off the back of two straight wins at 1400m, in the Mildura Cup and the P.B. Lawrence Stakes, here two weeks ago. The distance is perfect for her, given she has four wins from six starts at 1400m and three wins from her other 10 starts. Should get a nice position from the draw however did finish 4.3L off Tofane in 12th in the Tatt’s Tiara in June. Obviously has shown something since then and is in good form, but can she match it with genuine Group One horses?
“You can’t win Group Ones unless you’re in them.”
What a win by Sierra Sue in the P B Lawrence with connections now targeting her towards the Memsie Stakes in two weeks time!
— SENTrack (@SEN_track) August 15, 2021
This is a very intriguing race and potentially more open than last week’s Winx Stakes. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Aegon, Beau Rossa and Inspirational Girl right there in the finish, while Streets Of Avalon is over the odds, if he is 100% healthy, and is a nice exotics play.
However, there are a clear top two in the market for a reason and the mare seems to be the way to go. Behemoth gets an awkward draw out wide and this is a better field than in both of his Group One wins last Spring. Adding to that, Craig Williams had the choice of both Behemoth and Tofane, sticking with the latter. She is drawn perfectly in gate four, can win on either good or soft surfaces and has big aspirations for this Spring Carnival, with this being the perfect kick-start. With Sportsbet offering bonus back up to 3rd and PointsBet offering bonus back up to 4th, you should be safe to either win or get a bonus back as a worst case scenario.
Best Memsie Stakes Tip: Tofane – Win ($4.40)
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our Memsie Stakes page for all your punting needs!
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Sportsbet.