The first Group 1 of the season in Melbourne is here, with a stacked field assembled and ready to lock horns in the 2020 Memsie Stakes (1400m) with $750,000 up for grabs. Let’s take a look at them…
1 – Regal Power
Definitely needed the run in the P.B. Lawrence last start, only managing to beat two runners home. The word from the Peters camp was that he was more forward than stablemate Arcadia Queen, but that didn’t look the case. Is only early in the prep and gearing up towards bigger prizes over bigger trips. Looking elsewhere.
2 – Harlem
Australian Cup specialist. Can’t see this grand old campaigner having any chance here, will be using this to get some run into the legs.
3 – Gatting
Massive upset last prep when taking out the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in his first ever run in Melbourne. Would genuinely need lightning to strike twice for it to happen again in a field of this quality.
4 – So Si Bon
An absolute enigma who will be well back in the run but could get a nice lane if the pace at the front is as hot as it is being touted. Is $27/$7.50 at the time of writing and you will probably get more on the day, and is worth considering for your exotics, but would need to be at his best and everything to go right in transit.
5 –Streets Of Avalon
Has drawn the carpark here, which is a difficult spot over the 1400m at Caulfield, as he will almost immediately have to climb the hill and put in a stack of work to cross them and get to the front. If the track continues to dry out and we get a Good 4 he comes into play. Makes his own luck and will give you a good look at $23 if he doesn’t spend his tickets too early.
6 – Mr Quickie
Can run well first up, putting in a massive effort to place in last year’s Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). Is a very capable runner at this level but will be better over the mile or 2000m, though could also be worth including in exotics if you are a fan.
7 – Behemoth
A massive win in the Spring Stakes (1200m) over Dalasan, and heads in as the rightful favourite. Barrier 2 is not an ideal draw, and Craig Williams will have to time things to perfection to get the son of All Too Hard out with enough time to use his big turn of foot.
8 – Iconoclasm
Looks a bit out of depth with the class of some of these. Might get a nice suck run behind the leaders from the inside draw, but doesn’t look ready for this.
9 – Cascadian
Worked home really well first up in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on the rail, which wasn’t the best spot to be. Oliver should be able to get a nice spot on the rail a few pairs back and peel him out at the right time. Is right in this at the double figure quote.
10 – Begood Toya Mother
I think this guy is overs at $19, after his solid first up hit out in the Regal Roller (1200m) last start. He has drawn without much speed inside him and will either lead or stalk the front runner, and will lay down a hot pace. If he keeps improving with fitness and regains his form from last spring, he’s a massive show at the eachway price.
11 – Mystic Journey
Was never in it during the P.B. Lawrence, stuck wide and only just battling, with an average ride. She usually improves second up and this setup looks a lot better, but will certainly need to improve upon her last performance to be in it. If you’re a fan, it’s a reasonable price to find out if she’s up to it.
12 – Arcadia Queen
Ran home well in the P.B. Lawrence and will be better for the run. Is a class performer and looks capable of giving this a real shake if Damian Lane can get her to a nice spot in transit. Right in this.
13 – Savatiano
Won well in the P.B. Lawrence thanks to a perfect ride from Mark Zahra. This is tougher and may need to do some work from the gate to get a nice sit, but is a real chance to make it two wins in a row, and to secure a Group 1 victory.
14 – Princess Jenni
Very capable runner at Group level on her day, but this looks a very tough ask first up. Will be better over the mile and will be looking to hit the line strongly to set her up for runs later in the campaign. Not here.
15 – Glenfiddich
The wildcard in the field, carrying just 50.5kg as a three-year-old. This could be a Moody special, and he’s already been well supported in the market. Should go forward from 10 and make his own luck. If the track is favouring leaders, he’s right in this.