The 2019 Memsie Stakes is the first Group 1 of the season in Victoria and we are set for a stunning race at Caulfield on Saturday.
Alizee has opened as clear favourite in Memsie Stakes betting, but he won’t have things his own way against a field that is packed full of Group 1 performers.
Hartnell is an old marvel and he returned to the races with a gallant third place finish behind Mystic Journey and Cliff’s Edge in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes. He simply never produces a poor effort and he has finished the placings in eight of his nine race starts at Caulfield. There is no reason that he can’t improve on his first-up effort and that would have him right in the mix. He can’t be underestimated.
Black Heart Bart
Black Heart Bart will return to the races for the first time since he failed to fire in the Toorak Handicap last October. There is no doubt that his best form would have him in this race, but last campaign he was racing like a horse that was well and truly past his prime. He has trialed well in the lead-up to his racing return, but I need to see him produce that sort of effort on the track before I can consider him this Spring.
Humidor will return to the races for the first time since he finished third behind Winx and Benbatl in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate last year. The Teofilo gelding is capable of mixing it with the very best horses in the country on his day, but he generally doesn’t perform anywhere near his best first-up. There is no doubt that he will need this run under his belt and he will be in the mix in the Makybe Diva Stakes in a fortnight.
Material Man returned to the races with a sound effort in the Aurie’s Star Handicap and he should benefit from the step-up to 1400 metres. He wasn’t beaten far in the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes over this track and distance in the Autumn and he generally does improve second-up. The $51 currently available is over the odds.
Scales Of Justice
Scales Of Justice returned to the races with a simply outstanding win in the Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield and he was unable to reproduce that sort of rating when he finished second behind Dalasan in the Spring Stakes. A return to the level that he showed when he won the Bletchingly Stakes would have him right in this contest and the $6 currently available does look around the right price.
Cliff’s Edge has been his usual tough self in each of his race starts this campaign and he gave Mystic Journey a genuine race when he finished second in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield last start. He does have a fitness edge over a number of the runners in this contest and he always makes his own luck right on the speed. I’m not sure that he has the upside to win, but he will be thereabouts.
Despatch returned to the races with a fourth place finish in the Spring Stakes and this is a genuine step-up in quality. He was able to win The Goodwood during the Autumn, but that does look like something of a spike performance and I am not convinced that he has the talent to compete against elite Group 1 company.
So Si Bon
So Si Bon was able to claim his third career win in the Aurie’s Star Handicap and he has always had talent on his day. He would still need to produce a career best performance to have any chance in the Memsie Stakes and I’m not sure that he has that in him at this stage of his racing career.
Begood Toya Mother
Begood Toya Mother is the x-factor in the Memsie Stakes field. He has recorded six wins on the trot and he made his black-type racing debut with an excellent front-running performance in the Regal Roller Stakes. There is no doubt that he has a huge amount of upside, but this is a big step-up in class and I’m not sure that he is ready for this sort of contest at this stage of his career. I am not surprised that he has been an early drifter.
Sesar failed to fire in the Bletchingly Stakes, but he did have genuine excuses in the Aurie’s Star Handicap. His chances in the Memsie Stakes could depend on the state of the Caulfield track. The two highest-rating performances of his racing career have come on heavy tracks and he would need to perform at that level to be a genuine contender in the Memsie Stakes.
Alizee is the horse to beat in the Memsie Stakes. She returned to the races with a soft win in the Missile Stakes in Sydney and it was clear that she still had a fair amount of improvement left in her. I think that 1400 metres is her pet distance and she couldn’t have been tougher when she won the Futurity Stakes over this track and distance in the Autumn. The wide barrier draw is some concern and Damien Oliver will have to settle her in the second half of the field, but she does have the ability to sustain a long run and she can finish over the top of her rivals late.
Oohood failed to fire during her Autumn campaign and the jury is definitely out on her after she returned to the races with a flat effort in the Aurie’s Star Handicap. The breeding barn might be calling her and $41 is a fair price.
Fundamentalist is value at her current Memsie Stakes odds. She was not disgraced when she finished third behind Begood Toya Mother in the Regal Roller Stakes and she generally improves the further that she gets into her campaign. She produced a couple of high-rating efforts when she finished second in both the Surround Stakes and the Randwick Guineas during the Autumn and that level will have her thereabouts in this contest. She makes her own luck right on the speed and will give a good sight at her current odds.