Australian Thoroughbred

A-Z of Australian Horse Racing and Breeding.

30/8/2019 History Says - Memsie Stakes

Humidor bucked what had been a reliable trend when he won last year's Memsie Stakes, Victoria's first Group 1 race of the season, which will be run this Saturday.

Not because he won it after contesting Caulfield's other 1400-metre weight-for-age event in August, the G2 Lawrence Stakes, making him the first horse to do so in 10 years, but rather because of his starting price.

At $21, he became the longest-priced winner of the race in more than six decades.

Longest priced Memsie Stakes winners (courtesy of Form Focus):

$51 - Coppice (1954)

$34 - Prince Bardolph (1916)

$26 - Peshawar (1952)

$21 - Eurythmic (1920), Wise Force (1930), Humidor (2018)

Punters had therefore become understandably comfortable with concentrating on those towards the head of the market in the Memsie Stakes.

Since Bundy Lad won at $13 in 1994, the only winner at double-figure odds has been 2014 winner Dissident ($12). Each of the other 22 winners between 1995 and 2017 started $9 or shorter, including 12 favourites, all of which have come since the turn of the millennium.

The first two of those favourites' wins were supplied by Sunline (2000/01), who is the most recent of the nine horses to have won the Memsie in consecutive years, something Humidor is striving to achieve this year.

But unlike last year, Humidor enters this year's race without the benefit of a lead-up run. Vega Magic won in 2017 after resuming with a win in the Regal Roller Stakes, but the previous seven winners all won it at their first run for the campaign.

Humidor ($17) is one of just two runners in this year's race who is first-up, the other being 2016 winner Black Heart Bart ($34).

Stage of preparation for Memsie winners - past 30 years:

First-up - 11 winners;

Second-up - 13 winners (this year: Hartnell, Material Man, Despatch, So Si Bon, Begood Toya Mother, Alizee, Oohood and Fundamentalist);

Third-up - 2 winners (this year: Scales Of Justice and Cliff's Edge); and

3+ runs before Memsie - 4 winners (this year: Sesar).

Inside barriers have also proven important in the modern-day Memsie, with just two winners from double-digit gates since 1993. Twenty of the 26 in that time have jumped from gates 1-6.

Early season WFA races can attract small fields, but there has not been a Memsie Stakes with fewer than 11 runners since 2005 and 21 of the 26 editions since 1993 have contained at least 10 runners.

Hartnell, Cliff's Edge, So Si Bon, Fundamentalist, Scales Of Justice and Oohood occupy the inside six barriers in Saturday's race.

The Verdict:
Happy to pass off last year's blowout result as an aberration and expect single-figure-odds order to be restored. Five horses were sub-$10 in Ladbroke's market at 8am  Friday: Alizee ($3.20), Scales Of Justice ($5), Hartnell ($7),  Begood Toya Mother ($7) and Cliff's Edge ($8.50).
Three of them occupy a prized inside alley, but only one hits the race second-up - HARTNELL.


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