The first Group 1 of the Melbourne Spring Carnival promises to be a ripper with the Memsie Stakes (1400m) the feature race at Caulfield on Saturday.
Memsie Stakes favourite is Alizee after the Godolphin runner resumed with a win in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill, and she will face two former winners in Humidor and Black Heart Bart.
Also in the line-up is her stablemate Hartnell, Cliff’s Edge and the in-form Begood Toya Mother, who is aiming for seven wins in a row.
1. HARTNELL: The old boy Hartnell was terrific first-up in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) aided by a terrific ride from Hugh Bowman. He loomed a serious chance at the 250m but Mystic Journey had a superior turn of foot and being tightened at the 50m cost him being in the finish for second. Barrier one will either be a blessing or a curse. He maps three pairs back on the inside and will need luck in the straight but having said that, getting inside runs also looks his best chance of winning.
2. HUMIDOR: He is resuming off a long break for a new trainer. He hasn’t raced since sustaining an injury in last year’s Cox Plate. He won this race last year second-up, defeating Kementari and Kings Will Dream but I doubt he is anywhere near as forward in this race this year. His trials have been ok and look for any late market moves.
5. SCALES OF JUSTICE: His first-up victory in the Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) was awesome and puts him in this race up to his eyeballs. Although his last start performance was disappointing on face value, it still rated 10.1 lengths above benchmark, which rates as the third-best last start performance in the race. He gets back to Caulfield and maps wellfrom barrier five, don’t drop off him.
6. CLIFF’S EDGE: Cliff’s Edge was well backed ($9.00 into $5.50) first-up and it was a good fitness building run. He tackled Mystic Journey and Hartnell last start and although he looked to run it at a good tempo, it was actually 6.4 lengths slower than class benchmark to the 600m. He needs a fast early tempo to show his best and he should get that here.
9. BEGOOD TOYA MOTHER: When he won a Benchmark 64 at Warrnambool in March, I didn’t think this horse would be a legitimate winning chance in a Group One weight-for-age race. He has improved at every start since and deserves his crack at the big time. He burnt the candle at both ends winning the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) last start, defeating Haunted. A win wouldn’t shock me.
11. ALIZEE: She was given a cuddly ride from Hugh Bowman first-up in the Missile Stakes (1200m), and was only asked to sprint for 200m. She will get back and swoop home, so most people will think that the predicted fast early tempo will suit but that isn’t the case. She performs best in slowly run races and all of her failures have been in races with good speed. She is a winning chance but I couldn’t chime in at the current price.
The 13 runners come through five different form races, as well as two runners being first-up from a spell, but we’re looking for horses who can run a quick time at Caulfield.
Alizee and Hartnell ran quick times at the track and trip when second-up last campaign as they finished 1st and 3rd in the Futurity Stakes, so they obviously go into calculations.
Humidor won this race last year, and Black Heart Bart was a length away having previously won the Memsie in 2016. Cliff’s Edge has won at the track and trip, while Scales Of Justice’s only run at the track and trip was in a lightning quick Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Begood Toya Mother has won at the track and trip, but it was over 1440m. It was, however, on a soft track and it was a very quick time when translated and that makes the winning machine the one to focus on.
Hartnell ran stronger final sectionals than Cliff’s Edge last start and was also behind in fitness being first-up, so I’m banking on Hartnell to turn the tables with Scales Of Justice and Alizee next best.
- Begood Toya Mother
- Scales Of Justice