Another G1 on offer for Hartnell and Alizee in the Memsie Stakes - GulfToday

Another G1 on offer for Hartnell and Alizee in the Memsie Stakes

Another G1 on offer for Hartnell  and Alizee in the Memsie Stakes

Both Hartnell and Alizee will carry Godolphin colours at the Memsie G1 Stakes on Saturday.

An old warrior and a mare still on the march give Godolphin enviable prospects in Saturday’s G1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.

Hartnell (Craig Williams) and Alizee (Damien Oliver) have won seven G1 races between them and both have undeniable chances to increase their combined tally in the Memsie.

For the nine-year-old Hartnell, the race poses issues of distance and class that are recognised by trainer James Cummings, who nevertheless acknowledges that the winner of eight Stakes races is never out of contention.

“He’s got it ahead of him to prove he can produce another solid effort at seven furlongs,” Cummings said.

“But he was placed in the Futurity at this trip second-up in the autumn, although the circumstances were a little different.”

“He’ll be tested by the strength of the Memsie, but I think we saw in his first-up run two weeks ago, he still has the desire and he’s thrived between runs.”

Hartnell finished third in the PB Lawrence Stakes at his first outing this spring and was doing his best work at the finish when a little over a length behind Mystic Journey.

“He was finishing off really strongly and if he can find the outside here he is capable of getting into the picture.”

Alizee comes to the Memsie with Damien Oliver in the saddle for the first time and off a first-up win in the G2 Missile Stakes over 1,200m at Rosehill, where she defeated Invincible Gem who has run well since.

“It was a first-up effort that was first class, she demonstrated a lot of strength to get over the line.”

“I feel that she’ll be well-equipped second-up. Of all the options available to her, we’ve chosen the Memsie as a beautiful target race.”

Cummings is also looking forward to the partnership with Oliver who he believes will suit Alizee. She likes a good pace and a quiet ride and I think Damien will suit her.”

Alizee is on track for a start in Australia’s richest race, the $14m Everest at Randwick on Oct.19, and could be switched back to 1,200m for a lead-up in the G2 Premiere Stakes two weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, on the undercard to the G1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield, Cummings will saddle Jorda (Damian Lane) in the G3 WW Cockram Stakes and Etymology (Ben Melham) in the Listed Heatherlie Stakes.

“Jorda might be having her swansong here and it would be good for her to go out with another win, which wouldn’t surprise,” Cummings said.

“She gets her preferred ground and is in good enough form.”

Etymology is second-up and would probably be better suited in a race longer than Saturday’s 1,700m.

“He made a sound return last start and raced very consistently winning three races last time in work, but he’d be better suited over a bit more ground.”

Cummings is also contemplating going straight to The Everest after Saturday. strength of Bivouac’s winning return to racing will be put to the test when the colt runs second-up in Saturday’s G3 San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill.

Taken at face value, Bivouac’s first-up success at Caulfield two weeks ago, where he dominated another G3 field, was a first-class effort.

But trainer James Cummings is keen to see a repeat and hear the report of jockey Hugh Bowman who accompanied the colt at Caulfield and retains the ride here.

“As impressive as he appeared last start it was a small field like this one, but this looks a stronger race,” he said.

“They weren’t the A-graders first-up, but you couldn’t fault the way he won.”

Cummings is viewing the appearance of Subedar (Kerrin McEvoy) in the G3 Ming Dynasty Stakes in similar fashion.

The son of Sepoy has won his only two starts, graduating to city class last time out when he defeated older horses at Rosehill.

“He’s made a beautiful start to his career and it’s been a real pleasure to see him get up and get on with it,” Cummings said.

“He’s a three-year-old rising through the ranks and he fended off an older horse last time. I’d like to think he’ll be better off here against his own age.”

Related articles