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Lion Tamer a confirmed Memsie starter

August 15, 2011

Dominant Victoria Derby winner Lion Tamer will not race in New Zealand this spring, with connections deciding to start his campaign in Melbourne in two weeks.

Co-trainer Bjorn Baker, who has now set up an operation at Warwick Farm in Sydney, spoke to Just Horse Racing at Rosehill on Saturday.

He revealed Lion Tamer would miss the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 27, instead running in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on the same day.

“He’ll come across for the Memsie, while Harris Tweed will come with him and run in the Heatherlie,” Baker said.

“They galloped together Saturday morning and they went awesome.”

“I can’t wait to have them back.”

Much was made of the lack of quality of the Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday, but the Memsie Stakes looks to be a much classier race.

The likes of Maluckyday, Shamrocker, King’s Rose, Scarlett Lady and Heart of Dreams have been touted as possible runners in the race.

Baker cannot wait until the end of the spring for Lion Tamer.

“The Melbourne Cup looks the ideal race for him, he obviously loves Flemington and I have no doubts whatsoever that he will get two miles,” Baker said.

“But the Cox Plate is a great lead up race for him, his run in the AAMI Vase (on Cox Plate Day last year) was massive.”

The son of Storming Home is at $41 for the Cox Plate while he is on the third line of betting at $15 for the Melbourne Cup.

Harris Tweed had a wind operation after issues arose in the autumn.

“He’s the soundest horse you could ever imagine, he’s never had one issue with his legs,” Baker said.

“He’s not making a noise now, so hopefully he can show some of his form from last spring.”

Baker did have a warning for punters wanting to back the son of Montjeu for the Melbourne Cup.

“While he stays it better than most, I don’t think he quite sees out the two miles,” he said.

“He also doesn’t have the same class as Lion Tamer.”

The Heatherlie Handicap is expected to be a starting for a number of imports now based in Australia, including Laristan and Don Carlos.

It is also likely to be the starting point for the Lloyd Williams-owned Base.

Harris Tweed is a $35 chance with TAB Sportsbet to go one better in the Caulfield Cup this year, while he is at $31 for the Melbourne Cup.

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