The excitement of first class racing builds this weekend with the running of the first Group 1 race of the 2014 Spring Racing season.
The Group 1 Memsie Stakes is the feature race at Caulfield on Saturday and is run over 1400 metres. Also on the card are several Group 3 races with classy fields.
You will have gathered from the photo above, that my old fave Super Cool returns to racing this Saturday. He’s had a long spell after his gruelling spring last year, so I’m curious to see how he runs in the Memsie Stakes, which has attracted an excellent field of contestants with no less than six Group 1 winners in the mix.
Atlantic Jewel won the race last year by three lengths, but it is harder to pick the winner this time round. A top chance is Boban, who is avoiding the currently heavy tracks in Sydney and has two Melbourne wins on his CV. His fellow Sydneysider Sweet Idea started off her spring with a bang, winning the Group 2 Missile Stakes and could possibly repeat that feat. There’s also Caulfield specialist Moment of Change, running at his favourite distance and with the Peter Moody/Luke Nolen factor and Messene who was runner up in the Missile Stakes. Super New Zealand mare Silent Achiever kicks off her spring campaign and cannot be ignored – after all she has beaten the likes of Carlton House and It’s A Dundeel . Then you have others like Puissance de Lune, Happy Trails and Super Cool - all of whom have a chance to take home the prize. It looks to be a fascinating race, which I intend to witness first hand.
Atlantic Jewel’s little sister Commanding Jewel returns to the track after a long injury induced lay off in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200 metres). She faces stiff competition from the likes of Dear Demi, Gregers, Thiamandi, Bonaria and Sino Eagle, but class could well prevail.
The Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes looks interesting as well. For three year olds it is also run over 1200 metres and has familiar contestants from a fortnight ago – Cornrow and Jabali for instance - but also the very promising Nostradamus who won the San Domenico Stakes at his last outing. Other interesting runners are Chivalry, Tan Tat Diamond and Moonovermanhattan.
Melbourne is enjoying a warm and sunny break this week and these pleasant conditions are expected to continue into the weekend, so the track at Caulfield will be in good shape.
I’m keenly looking forward to getting to the track on Saturday to soak up the sunshine with the racing action, as well as seeing my favourite race horses competing again.
Spring has finally sprung!