Memsie Stakes Tips - Vega the one to beat but value lies with Dollar

  • Who will win the Memsie Stakes?
  • Win and Each-Way selections provided.
Damien Oliver riding Vega Magic

Group 1 racing returns to Melbourne with Saturday’s $1 million Memsie Stakes (1400m) attracting a cracking field of 11.

Reigning champ Vega Magic has the form and times to back up his tag as favourite, and if he can reproduce a similar performance to last year where he ran one of the quickest times (1:23.36) in recent history, he should be winning. 

The son of Lope de Vega was ultra-impressive defeating Voodoo Lad by three lengths in the Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), and although he seemed to weaken in the final 50m, he should take a stack of improvement from the run and has been kept fresh for this.

But it’s the form line through the Bletchingly Stakes, as well as times at Caulfield over 1400m that lead to me a value chance in the form of Dollar For Dollar.

Trained by Tony McEvoy, the six-year-old son of High Chaparral has a great record of eight wins from 16 starts, while four of those wins have come from seven starts over 1400m.

Dollar For Dollar was a tragedy beaten in the Barton Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield where he was caught three wide without cover for the trip and was narrowly beaten by Tshahitsi in a time of 1:23.36 – identical time to Vega Magic’s winning time in the Memsie last year. 

Despite potentially being over the top already, McEvoy decided to give Dollar For Dollar his chance at Group 1 level, and despite being beaten 1.8 lengths in the CF Orr Stakes (1400m), he was cluttered up on the inside and couldn’t build momentum in the race which may have made the difference between a close-up 9th placing and a top three finish. 

As far as his form this campaign goes, Dollar For Dollar resumed with a win in the Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville where he defeated Hard Empire and Inn Keeper.

He finished three lengths in front of Inn Keeper, and that galloper was only 1.5 lengths from Voodoo Lad in the Sir John Monash Stakes, and we can tie the Voodoo Lad form into Vega Magic. 

Like Vega Magic, Dollar For Dollar will improve considerably second-up as he gets out to his pet distance, and with times and form to support his claims, he looks over the odds at $34 and $8 Each-Way.

The speed map is a tricky one with Showtime, Jungle Edge, Vega Magic and Dollar For Dollar being the early speed horses, but if luck falls his way and Jungle Edge and Vega Magic take up the running, I can see Dollar For Dollar getting the run of the race on the outside of Showtime behind the leading pair. 

Kings Will Dream is the x-factor horse and he could flash home over the top of them all, but I’d prefer to see him stepping up in trip to have the best winning chance, and his main targets are still a few races away. 

Patrick Webster has said Happy Clapper is a bit older and fatter this time around and will improve on whatever he does, and I think Humidor and Grunt will be better suited next time in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

I’ve got a lot of respect for Black Heart Bart – and his trainer Darren Weir – but I’m not sure he’s going well enough this preparation.

Showtime can’t be discounted with a likely soft run behind the speed, and Oregon’s Day did enough first-up to lay claims to this Group 1 feature. 

The jury is out on Kementari against this quality of opposition in Melbourne, and Jungle Edge doesn’t have the scope for improvement that others do. 

I think Vega Magic will be winning on Saturday, but I’ll have a small saver on Dollar For Dollar for the win and also back him for the Place. 

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