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Hawk’s 2014 Memsie Stakes Day Analysis and Selections

August 30, 2014

The Australian racing season kicks into gear today with the first Group 1 race of the term, the Memsie Stakes.

Spring is in the air as a number of Australia’s best horses begin their preparations today.

After taking in race meetings in the United States, it’s great to get back to my home track Rosehill today ahead of returning to Hong Kong next week.

And with a wet track in Sydney, there looks to be plenty of opportunities to make money. Here’s hoping, anyway!

Here are selections for Caulfield and Rosehill, with a short write-up on each of the stakes races at both venues:

CAULFIELD

Race 1 – THE COVE HOTEL HANDICAP (1400m)

8 – EMBRACE THE ROCK
1 – VEUVELICIOUS
4 – AMICUS
9 – KALZAEN

Race 2 – CATANACH’S JEWELLERS PLATE (1400m)

7 – LORNA MAY
4 – SUAVITO
3 – ARE THERE ANY
1 – KEEP DE ROSE

Race 3 – WEDRIVE PLATE (1400m)

4 – PRINCE OF PENZANCE
10 – SIGNOFF
1 – COUNT OF LIMONADE
5 – EXIMIUS

Race 4 – HOCKINGSTUART HANDICAP (1200m)

9 – LATE CHARGE
10 – MARWOOD
4 – BY THE GRACE
11 – PRECIOUS GEM

Race 5 – GROUP 3 THESHARK.COM.AU STAKES (1100m)

An open sprint, it’s hard to see any of these matching the feats of last year’s winner Samaready, but time will tell.

Always been a fan of RICHIE’S VIBE, but I think this race suits FLAMBERGE perfectly. Gets in well, maps well, and seems to be continuing to improve. Wouldn’t surprise to see Flamberge emerge as one of Australia’s better sprinters this spring.

Obviously Richie’s Vibe is some hope, if he can find his best – a six and a half length trial victory at Gawler of all places suggests he is ripe for this.

PAGO ROCK’s stats at the Caulfield 1100m are top notch and give him some chance, while RIFLEMAN and LONHSPRESSO are next best.

1 – FLAMBERGE
2 – RICHIE’S VIBE
5 – PAGO ROCK
11 – RIFLEMAN

Race 6 – GROUP 3 H.D.F. MCNEIL STAKES (1200m)

Hardly an inspiring McNeil Stakes, but there has to be a winner and it could be the maiden CORNROW who salutes, given he maps well after a horrid run last start.

He did run third in the Blue Diamond behind Earthquake over this course and distance, and he should get a lovely run in transit which could make all the difference in what is an even field.

FORGIVE AND FORGET may be the fly in the ointment with the step up in trip. It’s worth taking note of his name and forgiving and forgetting his last effort where nothing much went right around the Moonee Valley 1000m. Up to 1200m at Caulfield should be far more suitable and an effort at odds wouldn’t surprise.

CHIVALRY and ZULULAND will both improve with a bit of distance but both can figure, while NORDIC EMPIRE and NOVEL DANCER are other hopes.

6 – CORNROW
12 – FORGIVE AND FORGET
9 – CHIVALRY
1 – ZULULAND

Race 7 – GROUP 3 SPORTINGBET SPRINT SERIES HEAT 1 (1200m)

An intriguing mares race with plenty of chances.

GREGERS deserves her place in the market on the back of a dominant first-up victory, but I cannot believe the price about SINO EAGLE. Sino Eagle battled away gamely in the Aurie’s Star behind Tiger Tees after a dominant first-up win over this track and distance. She’s two from two around the Caulfield circuit and if Glen Boss can somehow get her behind the leaders she’ll be there when the whips are cracking.

As mentioned, Gregers is definitely in with a chance, while REAL SURREAL and A TIME FOR JULIA are both consistent mares with the ability to win here.

From a future viewpoint, keep an eye on DEAR DEMI and COMMANDING JEWEL. They both have targets well down the track and a good effort today would be a bonus.

12 – SINO EAGLE
3 – GREGERS
10 – REAL SURREAL
6 – A TIME FOR JULIA

Race 8 – GROUP 1 MEMSIE STAKES (1400m)

The first Group 1 of the Australian season, and a top line-up set to battle it out for honours.

Very keen on SWEET IDEA here. She is tough as nails and I think Caulfield will suit her. She’s likely to be up on speed with MOMENT OF CHANGE, and she’ll prove tough to pass. She can get her first Group 1 here.

DISSIDENT can run a race fresh on his home track. His autumn form was terrific and definitely good enough to win this race.

Moment of Change is four from four over the Caulfield 1400m, so this is his type of race, but he’s the sort of horse worth opposing here. If he gets into a scrap with Sweet Idea, I know who I’d prefer to be on.

MESSENE next best, while it would be great to see a big effort from SILENT ACHIEVER fresh. Happy to risk BOBAN, who is likely to get into an awkward spot.

11 – SWEET IDEA
8 – DISSIDENT
3 – MOMENT OF CHANGE
7 – MESSENE

Race 9 – LISTED AUSTRALIAN THOROUGHBRED BLOODSTOCK STAKES (1700m)

Still have nightmares of IBICENCO nutting MR O’CEIRIN in this race last year. Horrific.

This year, both return, but I’m going to side with another of last year’s beaten brigade in ARALDO. He was heavily backed here last year, but finished second last, beaten 15 lengths. He proved it was an aberration by winning the Bart Cummings before failing to go straight when third in the Lexus Stakes.

In his second Australian preparation, I think he’ll be improved and he can win this before going on to bigger and better things.

Another likely to be improved in his second prep down under is MASKED MARVEL, who was quite disappointing last spring although showed glimpses of his best at times. He can figure here if he’s acclimatised.

MARKSMANSHIP will be up on the speed and prove hard to run down, while the next best are LET’S MAKE ADEAL, who is back to a better grade for her at this stage, and TRADE COMMISSIONER.

7 – ARALDO
2 – MASKED MARVEL
10 – MARKSMANSHIP
8 – LET’S MAKE ADEAL

ROSEHILL

Race 1 – TAB EARLY QUADDIE HANDICAP (1400m)

8 – SWEYNESSE
7 – FIRST SEAL
2 – BURNING PASSION
6 – HAMPTON COURT

Race 2 – MORE THAN READY HANDICAP (2000m)

5 – ZAZPARELLA
14 – CUBAN STAR
3 – SCARLETINI
9 – ROYAL AMATI

Race 3 – SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (2400m)

8 – AY NO DIGAS
4 – JO JO GIRL
12 – PRINCE OF SOFIA
2 – PENTOMETER

Race 4 – CELLARBRATIONS HANDICAP (1100m)

6 – JEMERICA
12 – MAROON BAY
11 – ESPRIT’S CHOICE
9 – STOLEN KISSES

Race 5 – TAB QUADDIE HANDICAP (1500m)

5 – GALLATIN
9 – BEYOND THANKFUL
12 – SPY DECODER
7 – TOUGHER THAN EVER

Race 6 – GROUP 3 RUN TO THE ROSE (1200m)

I’m very keen on SARAJEVO for the Golden Rose so hoping to see a good run here to book his spot, but on the heavy track here, I think HALLOWED CROWN is the one to beat. He sailed through the wet going to take out the Kindergarten Stakes in April, defeating subsequent San Domenico runner-up Washington Heights. He’s trialled alright and always looked a three-year-old in the making. Can keep his unbeaten record intact.

Sarajevo ran alright first-up – although it didn’t look overly flash, the sectionals suggest it was a terrific performance. His problem is getting out of the stalls, and if he can’t jump with them, he won’t be winning a feature anytime soon. Hopefully, he can prove his readiness for the Golden Rose with a better-behaved effort today.

San Domenico winner NOSTRADAMUS is a big query, coming from a different formline to most of these, and the wet will prove the key to him. The value may lie with SCRATCH ME LUCKY on the heavy track, while ALMALAD is obviously some chance but I get the feeling he might find this a touch sharp fresh.

5 – HALLOWED CROWN
11 – SARAJEVO
4 – NOSTRADAMUS
7 – SCRATCH ME LUCKY

Race 7 – LISTED PREMIER’S CUP (1800m)

Amazing to think where this race would be without the imports.

This looks a good race for the resuming WISH COME TRUE, with Linda Meech making a rare visit to Sydney. The Italian import is now into his second Australian prep, and improved with every run in his first prep. Seems to perform well fresh, and I don’t think the wet track will be too big an issue. Good value.

The Gai Waterhouse pair BONFIRE and GREATWOOD are understandably favoured on the basis of their fresh runs. Bonfire flew home, while Greatwood battled on gamely on speed. Have a slight leaning to Bonfire but both are good chances.

At odds, don’t be surprised to see CELTIC PRINCE show up. He trialled up a storm before his first-up run, when Brenton Avdulla was queried about the ride. Was far from disgraced regardless. The jury is out on his ability to handle the conditions but he can run a bold race second-up.

Next best SABOR A TRIUNFO.

7 – WISH COME TRUE
3 – BONFIRE
12 – GREATWOOD
9 – CELTIC PRINCE

Race 8 – HYLAND RACE COLOURS HANDICAP (1200m)

5 – TWO BLUE
3 – MOUNT NEBO
6 – CLUSTER
11 – MURDER OF CROWS

Good luck today!

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