Memsie Stakes Marks Return of Group 1 Action for New Season
It is a star-studded field that will take to the turf on Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse for the first Group 1 race of the 2017 – 2018 Australian Thoroughbred racing season.
The Memsie Stakes, a 1400 m weight for age affair, is full of horses that have learned the peril of running on the same track in the same race with Winx.
Leading the way in the betting at the moment is Vega Magic, carrying a quote on Ladbrokes of $2.70. The 5YO chestnut gelding by Ireland’s Lope De Vega from Australia’s Admirable is one of those sneaky fast horses not widely known outside racing circles. His lone Group 1 win was the SAJC Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville, and his other Group wins have come in Western Australia. This will be his first try on Victorian turf. He will be ridden by Craig Williams.
The second favourite is Le Romain at $5.50, with Ben Melham aboard, with a quote of $5.50. Kris Lees’ five-year-old claims two Group 1 victories and as best we can tell, has only succumbed to Winx one time, when he ran second to her in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes in March of 2017.
Two horses are tied third in the betting at $6.50. First is Black Heart Bart. He will be ridden by Brad Rawiller. Bart is a seasoned campaigner prepared by Darren Weir and will carry the top weight of 59 kg. Weir assumed responsibility for Bart after the horse had made 26 starts. Since Weir took over, Bart has run 16 times and has finished either first or second in 13 of those races. He enters this year’s Memsie Stakes as the defending champion. Bart was a little off in his first-up race, the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes, where he finished behind Hartnell and Charmed Harmony. He has won three Group 1s since Weir took over, with the Underwood Stakes and the C.F. Orr Stakes to complement the Memsie Stakes win.
Hey Doc is the other equal to Bart in the wagering to this point.