The New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes is one of the important pre-spring features that sheds light on what trainers can expect from their star charges during spring and one conditioner who will learn more than most is Peter Moody.
This year’s $200,000 Group 2, to be run at Caulfield this Saturday, will see Victoria’s champion trainer of the past two seasons unveil King’s Rose, a highly-rated former Kiwi mare who will have her first start for the stable.
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice has brought sterling form across the Tasman – six wins from 12 starts, including the Group 1 Thousand Guineas – and Moody is eager to see where the four-year-old might fit into the spring landscape.
“We’re not sure, we’re still learning about her, but the pleasing thing is the owner’s got no lofty ambitions,” Moody said. “He said just take her as you find her, even if we’re in mares’ races, so we’ll learn a lot from her Saturday.
“But I’m a little bit excited about her. If she runs to her form and the way she looks, she should be running well wherever.”
King’s Rose has been entered for both the $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup and the $3m Tatts Cox Plate, as have many of her Memsie Stakes rivals, including stablemate Anacheeva.
The Anabaa four-year-old returns to the scene of his greatest triumph, last year’s The Age Caulfield Guineas, and although he didn’t recapture his best form in the late summer/autumn, Moody insists he has come back well.
“He’s probably on a Caulfield Cup path,” Moody said. “This is a nice race to resume in and he’ll get better as the distances get up. He looks in great shape but it probably won’t be out to 1800, 2000 (metres) when he starts hitting his straps.”
King’s Rose, who will be ridden by stable jockey Luke Nolen, is the more fancied of Moody’s pair with TAB Sportsbet, $6 in a market that has Anacheeva (Craig Newitt) at $14.
Favourite, at $3.80, is the Mick Price-trained Heart Of Dreams with Jim Conlan’s Rekindled Interest ($4.60) and Danny O’Brien-trained AJC Derby winner Shamrocker ($8) the others at a single-figure quote.
The Memsie is one of six races in which Moody has multiple runners on Saturday, including the day’s key support race, the $125,000 Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) for the three-year-olds.
Crack colt Golden Archer (Nolen) and consistent filly Metonymy (Michael Walker) will be back in action at their home track, where they both finished second when first-up on August 14.
Golden Archer was no match for Sepoy after enduring a wide run in the Vain Stakes, while Metonymy was nosed out by Satin Shoes in the Quezette Stakes.
“Sepoy rules the roost in the Danehill the following week (Flemington, Sept 3) so I’ll probably run them both this week to dodge him to be honest, but both horses are in good shape,” Moody said.
“Metonymy’s really come on. I was a little bit bewildered with her pre her first-up, but I’m pleased to say it’s really brought her on and she’s picked up no end.
“Golden Archer, (he’s) looking for a bit more luck in the run. He was wide and overdid it the other day. He couldn’t have beaten Sepoy, but he could have made it interesting I feel.”
Moody’s other most intriguing Caulfield runners are Samantha Miss’s little sister Hurriyet (Ben Melham) and Plucky Belle (Nolen), a daughter of former top racemare Winning Belle, who will join stablemate Cute Emily (Daniel Stackhouse) in the day’s opener, The Age Good Food Guide Plate (1400m).
“Cute Emily is probably the pick of the three, just on experience and maturity at this point, but the other two, come the autumn, they’re going to be top class fillies,” Moody said.