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The Hawk’s Preview – Memsie Stakes Day

September 1, 2012

The spring carnival is here!!! The Memsie Stakes, to racegoers, is the effective start of two months of the best racing imaginable. What a time!

Today, I’ve done previews for the cards at Caulfield and Rosehill, as well as the Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings.

Good luck today!

CAULFIELD

Race 1 – METRO SOLAR HANDICAP (1400m)

An interesting race for the three year old fillies kicks off the day. It’s especially interesting because many of these have not raced on top of the ground before, so much of the form goes out the window. She hasn’t been beating much, but I’m keen to see LEGCUT here. Poor run on debut, but two subsequent efforts have been very good. By the very underrated sire Danerich, I think she could surprise. MAREEZA looks like she’s at her best on top of the ground. She’s with Peter Moody – enough said! BLOOMINGDALE MISS did beat her at Caulfield, and definitely looks in the mix. She’ll be suited over further. And don’t be surprised to see a big race from GONDOKORO. She was very poor on debut, but he’s bred to get over distance. Pat Carey’s a very shrewd trainer, as seen with the likes of Cedarberg and Ethiopia in recent times. I reckon she could run an improved race.

4 – LEGCUT
5 – MAREEZA
1 – BLOOMINGDALE MISS
9 – GONDOKORO

Race 2 – HOCKING STUART HANDICAP (1400m)

I reckon this is a fairly weak race, and it’s the perfect opportunity for class to shine through. There are only three winning chances, in my opinion, and I reckon MIDNIGHT MARTINI is excellent value. She’s lightly raced, better over further but fresh over this trip, she’ll be flying home. Came out of the form race of the spring last year, the Stocks Stakes (think King’s Rose, Pinker Pinker, Southern Speed), to run a solid fourth in the Herbert Power and a game third in the Coongy. She then flopped in the Lexus Stakes, but it was a weird race with horses like Green Moon also failing. I’m convinced she has a good race in her, and I reckon she can get her spring off to a winning note here. The outside barrier’s my only concern. Obviously SPIRIT SONG’s a huge danger. Ever so consistent last campaign, her autumn culminated in victories in the Group 3 Schweppes Trophy at Flemington and the Group 2 Sunline Stakes. If she runs to that, she’ll be a great chance. But prior to last preparation, she hadn’t won first up before. So it may pay to wait and see her today. BLISS STREET didn’t go one yard in the wet track first up. She’s performed at her best on top of the ground, although she is a bit enigmatic. She has a poor second up record which is of great concern, but if she runs to her peak she’ll be in the finish. Next best BIANCON ROSE, who has been well backed and has a good record at the track and distance. But I’m really keen on Midnight Martini.

3 – MIDNIGHT MARTINI
1 – SPIRIT SONG
4 – BLISS STREET
7 – BIANCON ROSE

Race 3 – SPORTINGBET SPRINT SERIES HEAT 1 (1000m)

This Sportingbet Sprint Series for the mares is a great idea. Can Australia’s best maiden break her duck today? I sure hope so. SHARNEE ROSE ran third in last year’s Thousand Guineas – a great formline when you consider she was third to Atlantic Jewel and Mosheen. She almost broke the duck against the boys first up at Flemington last preparation before three okay runs, including a 4th in the Schweppes Oaks, beaten only a length by Invest. The trip may be too short but I reckon she’ll be flying home. Could today finally be the day? If not, perhaps ANISE will be the one to capitalise. Very poor last preparation, but before that she was fantastic. First up last spring she ran a half length second to Foxwedge in the San Domenico. If she finds that form, I expect her to be in the finish. CELEBRITY GIRL mixed it with the best fillies last spring. She looks a pure sprinter, which gives her an advantage over her rivals. But the barrier and the weight will make it difficult. And RAVENOUS LASS look an 1000m type if ever I’ve seen one. Trialled well in preparation for this.

9 – SHARNEE ROSE
4 – ANISE
1 – CELEBRITY GIRL
7 – RAVENOUS LASS

Race 4 – GROUP 3 H.D.F MCNEIL STAKES (1200m)

Nice race for the three year olds here. ELITE ELLE is unbeaten to date and she looks a very nice type. If she runs up to her Quezette Stakes form, she’ll be hard to toss here. KABAYAN emerged from nowhere last prep to almost win the Group 1 TJ Smith in Brisbane at his third start. Will be looking for further but looks another one of Gai’s top three year olds. SHAMEXPRESS won’t be wound up as he is Derby-bound, but he looks to have the potential to be a top three year old. And I’m interested in ABOUT SQUARE at his first run over here. Has better form than another Kiwi – Lord Tavistock – who came over here and ran a game second in one of these three year old races.

4 – ELITE ELLE
5 – KABAYAN
7 – SHAMEXPRESS
8 – ABOUT SQUARE

Race 5 – LISTED THESHARK.COM.AU STAKES (1100m)

Good to see my mate Mick Sharkie sponsoring this race, hopefully he can find the winner. I’m very keen on GOLDEN ARCHER here. I do think 1100m is about his best trip, and he was very game second up behind Shanghai Warrior – who simply had the better run. Loves the track here, and I think he can win again at his home track. DEE’N’GEE looks a horse of promise. Came from nowhere last preparation to win two nice races at Randwick before a fourth to Tiger Tees in the Hall Mark Stakes. That form should stack up here. PLATELET was game in winning the Monash Stakes, she has a very good record now – has only been unplaced once, and she ran fourth that day. Think she probably prefers a bit of give in the ground though. And RUE MAPLE may not be racing at her best, but she must always be included in multiples around Moonee Valley.

1 – GOLDEN ARCHER
7 – DEE’N’GEE
3 – PLATELET
10 – RUE MAPLE

Race 6 – GROUP 2 MEMSIE STAKES (1400m)

Ah, the Memsie Stakes. Effectively the start of the spring! How exciting. And this should provide plenty of interest heading into the spring, for sure! There’s not many horses here that would be considered suitable 1400m weight for age types – Sincero, maybe Wall Street (on his day), Luckygray, Rekindled Interest, Happy Trails are probably the only ones. But this race doesn’t always play to those types. I think I’m going to put GREEN MOON on top. He won the Blamey first up at his one and only run in the autumn. He won’t be as wound up here and 1400m probably doesn’t suit so much. But he loves a good track, looks to get a good run. I reckon he could be the one who could be a star of the spring, starting here. SINCERO is enigmatic but his form on a good track reads very well (10 starts for 8 wins, 1 second, 1 fifth). I’m not convinced he’s at his best past 1600m, which he was tried at last spring. He’s four from five at the distance here, including a Stradbroke success. And his first up record is strong. He’s the main danger, I’m just not sure he’s value now. LUCKYGRAY is going to relish being back on top of the ground. This is his chance to show Melbourne what he’s capable of. And I’m going to be very interested to see what SANAGAS does first up. His record is nice, but he’s never raced over this trip. But could show something fresh for Bart. A fascinating race!

11 – GREEN MOON
3 – SINCERO
8 – LUCKYGRAY
13 – SANAGAS

Race 7 – LISTED SLICKPIX STAKES (1700m)

Another good race, the former Heatherlie Handicap. Perhaps Lloyd Williams can get a double here, with TANBY looking a top selection. He was very good last week. He’s proven off a back up, he’s got a good record at the distance, and he’s at his best on top of the ground. Looks his race. MR O’CEIRIN is a promising horse for Ciaron Maher. He emerged last preparation to run very well in the Warrnambool Cup. He looks to have returned in good order. BANCA MO has been simply awesome at his last two runs, winning by eight lengths at Flemington before winning by three lengths at Moonee Valley. This is a big step up but he looks like he can make the leap. And don’t be surprised to see a big run from UNUSUAL SUSPECT. His Dubai campaign must be forgotten, and last spring he ran fourth first up in the Dato Tan Chin Nam. This is a much easier race.

2 – TANBY
9 – MR O’CEIRIN
7 – BANCA MO
1 – UNUSUAL SUSPECT

Race 8 – NATIONAL JOCKEYS’ CELEBRATION DAY PLATE (1400m)

Another great race to end the day. If he returns in the same form he displayed last spring, then CHASE THE RAINBOW should be hard to beat. Won the Stutt Stakes most impressively before failing in the Caulfield Guineas. He’s had issues since then, but hopefully he may show something close to his best. SNEAK A PEEK is a lightly raced Italian import, who prior to his last start had not finished outside the top 4. Unlike most other imports, he’s raced below 2000m although not at this short a distance. He bares close watching. DUSTY STAR is knocking on the door at the moment, his last run has to be forgotten and he might be hard to catch in front. And PARTHIAN was good last start beating a handy field, the outside barrier makes it hard though.

7 – CHASE THE RAINBOW
1 – SNEAK A PEEK
5 – DUSTY STAR
3 – PARTHIAN

ROSEHILL

Race 1 – SPOTLESS HANDICAP (1400m)

The start of the spring in Sydney is met by an even mares race. Nocturnelle is going to be hard to beat, but she carries 3.5kg more than the rest of the field so I’m looking elsewhere. I’ve been impressed with how NEW BEGINNING has come back this preparation. She was very good first up before an alright run last start against Strawberry Boy. She’s been heavily backed too which suggests this could be the race for her. NOCTURNELLE has been on the drift, as I think the weight may play against her. But she’s a very nice type, and this field isn’t overly strong. Can win again. WESTCHESTER has looked promising in her runs to date and I think the penny’s yet to drop, while DELZERA won well – albeit on a heavy track – at Flemington last start. Outside the top two, it look a pretty weak race.

5 – NEW BEGINNING
1 – NOCTURNELLE
10 – WESTCHESTER
2 – DELZERA

Race 2 – TVN JOCKEYS TRUST HANDICAP (1400m)

Nice three year old race here, expect to see a couple of these in better races over the next few weeks. I’m keen on KRISTY LEE here. She was disappointing at her first two runs this preparation before a huge run at Wyong when nabbed late by unbeaten Kiwi colt Dundeel (now It’s A Dundeel). She’s a blueblood – by Encosta de Lago out of Shania Dane – and while I think she’ll improve over even further I reckon she’s a good chance here, especially with a much more favourable gate. PROISIR was very good on debut at Hawkesbury. He’s looking to add to Gai Waterhouse’s imperious arsenal of three year olds, and if he improves just slightly on his maiden victory he’ll be hard to beat. I was very keen on NORZITA after her win at Rosehill two starts back but she was slaughtered last start by Glyn Schofield. That said, I’m not too sure she would have won anyway. I’m worried she may be looking for 1600m now too, but she is definitely a chance. And RED DYNAMITE simply went too hard in the Wyong race behind Dundeel, if he races more tractably he’s capable of vast improvement.

8 – KRISTY LEE
4 – PROISIR
6 – NORZITA
9 – RED DYNAMITE

Race 3 – CLEANEVENT A SPOTLESS COMPANY HANDICAP (1300m)

I reckon there’s value to be had here. The Kiwi import RIOMORAL can blow them out here, I believe. Keep in mind that he was the despised outsider of the field when he won the G2 Awapuni Cup at his last start in March. He has a very good first up record, he performs fine at this trip and this is not the strongest field. He’s a chance at odds. COUP AY TEE seems to really like Rosehill, reserving his best for this track. The firm track is a concern though, if there was a bit more give I reckon he’d be a top chance. PRINCE PEDRO was flying around Wagga before heading to Caulfield where he recorded a nice win in the last bound. I’m not sure he was suited stepping up to 1700m, especially given he was forced to lead, and I reckon he’ll appreciate coming back in trip. And PRINCE BRAEMAN always improves second up, his first up run wasn’t too bad at all so I think he should be kept safe. Throw him into all your multiples.

1 – RIOMORAL
6 – COUP AY TEE
8 – PRINCE PEDRO
10 – PRINCE BRAEMAN

Race 4 – ALLAN BARNES COACHES HANDICAP (1500m)

A fascinating benchmark race. SPINNAWITCH has come back in fantastic style, winning both runs since an injury enforced 15 month spell. This is a similar race, and I reckon she can make it three on the trot. GANGSTER’S CHOICE looked fat as anything first up, and I still cannot believe he managed to win. I think he might be a horse of considerable promise, and he flies on a good track. Big hope. COLISEO is an intriguing proposition. The Canberra-based galloper won the Wagga Cup at his final start after a spell after mixing it with some of Sydney’s better stayers, including Permit and Precedence. He still looked like he was improving last preparation. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him flying home late. And SOLEDAD has been a model of consistency this preparation – he’s won twice, placed three times, and each time he’s placed he’s been within three quarters of a length of the winner. Expect something similar today. For the record – Thumbtacks, who saluted for us last week, is being left out of my selections because I’m not convinced he’s at his best at Rosehill. He’s well in the market, and could figure in the finish, but I reckon he’s a lay this week.

7 – SPINNAWITCH
11 – GANGSTER’S CHOICE
5 – COLISEO
10 – SOLEDAD

Race 5 – GROUP 2 THE RUN TO THE ROSE (1200m)

The lead up to Sydney’s richest spring race, the Golden Rose, has attracted a field of immense quality – despite it being a small field of six. Speed here is going to be critical – Ashokan probably pushes forward, Epaulette and Pierro will be handy, Your Song and Ninth Legion just behind them and All Too Hard last. I attracted a bit of media coverage during the week by suggesting all was not right with PIERRO. It was being discussed at the trials, and there were indications of numerous issues. That said, Gai Waterhouse has said there’s nothing wrong with him. I guess all that can be done is to take her at her word. On form, he simply wins – he’s been one of the best juveniles we’ve seen, winning the Sydney triple crown and remaining undefeated. If he runs to that form he should win quite easily. But these classy juveniles don’t always come up – the Golden Slipper curse, as it is known – so it probably pays to be cautious today. Put simply, the race is not a betting proposition. If Pierro doesn’t run to his best, then ALL TOO HARD will be there to capitalise. Some were disappointed with his run in the San Domenico – well, you can be disappointed, because it was a good run. It was always going to be hard to make ground when they absolutely walked in front. He still hit the line quite nicely. He just needs to learn to jump away with them, and he’ll be top class. He also needs to learn to race tractably – hopefully the winkers will help with that. Still reckon he’ll leave something in the tank for the Golden Rose though. I’ve always had an opinion of ASHOKAN, but I’m including him today purely because he looks like he’ll get a soft lead. That’s always dangerous. He’s another one who’ll be better later into his preparation. And EPAULETTE trialled okay, he did run Pierro to a nose in the Todman Stakes (although I reckon Pierro was below his best) so he deserves some consideration. A great race to watch, a terrible race for a bet.

1 – PIERRO
2 – ALL TOO HARD
3 – ASHOKAN
4 – EPAULETTE

Race 6 – LISTED PREMIER’S CUP (1800m)

This race always has the potential to unearth a nice horse heading to the Newcastle Cup and The Metropolitan. Unfortunately, I feel that it may be dictated by pace. Gai’s import GLENCADAM GOLD only just fell in at Canterbury first up, but he looks to get his own way in front here (although perhaps one of Waller’s horses – maybe The Verminator – might push forward). If he doesn’t get too much pressure, he should prove hard to beat. I think PEAL OF BELLS will prove to be the best horse in the race. His improvement last preparation was phenomenal, going from weak races at Goulburn to run a fantastic sixth in the Sydney Cup. His first up run was outstanding, flashing down the outside in a race that was otherwise dominated on the speed. I think he’s a live Metropolitan chance, and if there was more speed on I would be declaring him. The pace is the concern. STOUT HEARTED is the hot favourite, but I’m not as convinced as everyone else seems to be. The pace, again, is a massive concern. He did win by almost five lengths at Canterbury – but the pace that day was tremendous, there’s hardly been a 1900m race at Canterbury run quicker. And last start, in a race with even tempo, he beat Gazza Guru by 3/4L. I think he’s vulnerable today, but should still be in the mix somewhere. I almost think Waller’s best hope is PERMIT, who ran fantastically first up. He was the real improver in the autumn, and I think he’ll surprise a few today.

10 – GLENCADAM GOLD
9 – PEAL OF BELLS
5 – STOUT HEARTED
2 – PERMIT

Race 7 – RYDGES PARRAMATTA HANDICAP (2000m)

This race feels a bit of a letdown after the previous two races. He was poor first up, and perhaps he hasn’t brought his Kiwi form across, but I reckon O’REILLY’S PRIZE deserves one more shot here. They are planning to ride him quiet – a big call from Gai – and he’s unbeaten second up. I think he’s worth a chance. THUBIAAN is another of Waller’s imports. He’s only won by a nose on both occasions, but he should appreciate the step out to 2000m and the bigger track. He still has plenty of scope. Chance. PECK’s one of racing’s big disappointments, in that he always looks like he’ll run well but always seems to find one better He’s a place chance, though, so I’ll include him. And I think HONOURABLE AUSSIE is ready to show his best out to 2000m.

2 – O’REILLY’S PRIZE
5 – THUBIAAN
4 – PECK
3 – HONOURABLE AUSSIE

Race 8 – NEW BREED RACING HANDICAP (1100m)

The final race of the first day of the spring ha been knocked around a bit by scratchings. I reckon DON’T BLINK can turn around her form here. Comes out of two very good races behind She’s A Fox and Snitzerland – both who would spank this field if they were carrying 53kg. Nice chance. MISS MARX is set to make her debut for a new stable, having left the John O’Shea stable. I reckon David Vandyke is a very shrewd trainer, places them right, and if her recent trial was anything to go on she’ll have the opportunity to recapture her form this preparation. EMOTIONAL CIRCUS has been running in better races than this and has been competitive, so it stands to reason she’ll be hard to beat here. And NEXT THE UNIVERSE has a poor win rate and is not a noted first up performer, but she can be competitive in a race like this. I’m keen on the filly though.

14 – DON’T BLINK
2 – MISS MARX
3 – EMOTIONAL CIRCUS
1 – NEXT THE UNIVERSE

HASTINGS

Race 8 – GROUP 1 MAKFI CHALLENGE STAKES (1400m)

The first race in the New Zealand triple crown, and it’s hard to go past MUFHASA at weight for age. A Futurity Stakes winner looks very well suited here, and should be able to stalk the pace and prove hard to beat. OCEAN PARK will be flying home late, and looks the main danger. HE’S REMARKABLE has drawn awkwardly which may make it hard, but he’s a good chance, while GREEN SUPREME maps well and could surprise. But Mufhasa looks the goods here.

1 – MUFHASA
10 – OCEAN PARK
7 – HE’S REMARKABLE
4 – GREEN SUPREME

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