The Group 1 Memsie Stakes is the first major of the Melbourne season and it’s an open contest.
Trent Crebbin has analysed the race in depth and provided his runner by runner preview below.
Speed looks strong here. Streets Of Avalon has no choice but to work and cross, likely finding the front as he did in the Lawrence, with Archedemus sitting 2nd again. Red Can Man and Behemoth draw 8 and 9 and will want to try and slot in with cover without doing too much work. Tofane might end up on the rails from barrier 4 unless Willo kicks her up. I think Colette has to go back from barrier 12- she’s settled just off speed in the past but they were in small fields with little tempo.
(1) Fifty Stars– Can’t see him winning over 1400m fresh at the age of 7. Generally peaks 3rd or 4th up at 2000m, better suited at Flemington, beaten 8.4L at this trip first up last prep (although was coming off an interrupted prep). Look for him to hit the line.
(2) Behemoth- Got the win on protest over Beau Rossa first up and rightfully so. He did lay in a touch, but Beau Rossa shifted out significantly and I think Behemoth wins by a length and change with clear running. Loved this T/D with two Group 1 wins, including this race last year, the only miss when 2.9L off Probabeel and Arcadia Queen when keen from barrier 1 and in a swooper’s race. I like him back onto a firmer deck but the draw isn’t ideal, especially with the jockey saga meaning Kah won’t be riding. Still think he’s the horse to beat, but it’s made things tricky.
(3) Streets Of Avalon- Pulled up lame after the PB Lawrence where not a lot went right, doing plenty of work early which told late. Two time Group 1 winner at this T/D like Behemoth, but he had everything in his favour both times and looks to cop plenty of pressure again. I do like the booking of Yendall who should be aggressive, and of the PB Lawrence form he’s the only one I could have given his SP and excuses.
(4) Archedemus- Faded but not terribly in the PB Lawrence, beaten 3.5L. Draw has done him no favours here and he’ll have to work early to try and lead or sit outside something that kicks up, which is very difficult at the 1400m start as it’s a short run to the first bend, and uphill. Looks outclassed at this level.
(5) Red Can Man- Got his favoured firm conditions in the PB Lawrence and ran as well as to be expected in my opinion. I think that’s his level and he did have a good run in the race there. Drawn 8 here, I think he can eventually find the 1-1 again but he’d need an economical run to really figure in the finish, and does lose Melham which is a slight knock.
(6) Sansom- No idea what happened in the PB Lawrence but he was very poor, finishing last after over racing. Perhaps a more genuine tempo will help, so Allen might look to kick up from barrier 2 and even try to hold the lead. Still think he’s outclassed at Group 1 WFA and not for me.
(7) Aegon- Very interesting runner with an outstanding overall record. He won the Hobartville at Rosehill very impressively, but I have to query that form. North Pacific started $3.40 and ran 2nd, and his only piece of form was a win over nothing on a heavy 10. Peltzer stared favourite and ran 4th and he was barely a B grader. The main query with Aegon however is a good track. All his wins have been on rain affected ground, his one good track start a midfield effort in the Randwick Guineas.
(8) Beau Rossa- Come back very well this prep, bolting in on a heavy track first up before losing the race on protest to Behemoth 2nd up. I’m not sure he can turn the tables on that horse all things being equal, given he had a run under his belt and is potentially better suited at 1200m than Behemoth. Interesting map for him- I doubt they kick up to try and lead, but he could definitely land leader’s back. Can win, but I think the Rupert Clark is his race, where the handicap scale will be in his favour.
(9) Colette- Didn’t expect to see her here first up in what will be her first run in Melbourne. If she could replicate her win first up last prep over Verry Elleegant in the Apollo she’d be a huge chance, but that was on a soft 7 and she got every favour in the run. She’s much better suited on wet tracks (7 starts for 5 wins) as opposed to good (9 starts for 1 win), and she’s drawn the carpark. I think they’ll have to take their medicine and go back from the draw, which will make it very tough. If we’re on a soft 6 I’d have her as a play.
(10) Tofane- Right up there in the market coming off a break from Queensland where she won back-to-back Group 1’s in the Stradbroke and Tatts Tiara. I do think she got every favour in both those runs- Willo gave her two peaches, firstly in the Straddy to get to the best ground and in the Tatts Tiara just behind the speed. She’s unbeaten at 1400m and if she brought her All Aged win over Pierata she’d be the horse to beat, but I’m not sure she’s quite at that level. Found it very interesting Willo chose to stick with her, but she does map for a nice enough run and if she’s 100% fit she’s a clear danger.
(11) Inspirational Girl- Very classy WA mare coming off a long break since running in last year’s WA Group 1’s, winning the Railway and running 2nd in the Kingston Town. She’s got a fantastic overall record, and at 1400m, but this is definitely a step up. The Railway win was dominant, but she was very well weighted with 53kg and didn’t exactly beat a Group 1 field. Red Can Man was coming off issues and was only 2L off her. The map is also a bit sticky because I doubt they’re hustling her up to try and hold a spot first up off 9 months. Just a watch for me, but I think she can definitely measure up, especially in mare’s grade in races such as the Stutt Stakes and Empire Rose.
(12) Sierra Sue- Won the PB Lawrence quite well but I have to query that form. She was coming off a Mildura Cup win and prior to that was beaten 4.3L by Tofane when starting $41 in Queensland. Maps to get a similar run as last start but I think the different form comes to the fore here and I’m happy to risk her.
I’m sticking with Behemoth on top. He’s already a dual Group 1 winner at this T/D and should improve out to 1400m. The jockey situation isn’t ideal but I think he’s the best horse. Tofane is the logical danger but this is harder than her Queensland wins and she’s effectively first up. Case to be made Streets Of Avalon is overs given his SP in the lead up. Beau Rossa can win from barrier 1 and might look so in the straight, but the Rupert Clark is his ideal race. Colette has the class but likely strikes a good track and the draw has done her no favours, Inspirational Girl can measure up but just a watch first up.
Top pick- (2) Behemoth– $4.20 at Sportsbet
Value- (3) Streets Of Avalon– $21.00/4.50 at Bet365
1.25 units WIN Behemoth
0.25/0.5 units E/W Streets Of Avalon