Two of The Race's Aussie visitors heading to Menangle
by Adam Hamilton
Star mare Stylish Memphis is primed to cap her return “home” for the $900,000 The Race at Cambridge with a big showing at Menangle on Saturday night.
It will be her first race in a month and her only lead-up run.
“I was going to run her last week (at Menangle) but just felt she could do with another strong training run before racing, so waited an extra week,” caretaker trainer-driver Jack Trainor said.
“She seems really well. It’s a good race this week and she’s drawn out (gate eight), but I’m sure she’ll run well.
“There’s some good opposition in it. Majestic Cruiser is flying and was unlucky not to finish closer in the Miracle Mile last time. Old Alta Orlando has come back well, too.”
Stylish Memphis is then booked on a flight from Sydney to Auckland on Sunday week.
“I’m going to fly across at the same time as her and have that week with her getting ready for The Race,” Trainor said.
“I’m really excited about it. It’ll be great to go back over there, especially with a mare like her.”
Although Stylish Memphis gets a preferential draw in The Race being a mare, Trainor said the draw was still very important.
“My heart sank a bit when I heard Spellbound was going because I’d hoped we might be the only mare in it and get the pole,” he said.
“We’re still a 50/50 chance of the pole and it will make a huge difference. We’d be a chance of trailing the leader from the pole, but you could be shuffled right back in the running line from barrier two.”
Saturday night’s Joe and Michael Ilsley free-for-all (2300m) at Menangle will be an important lead-up for The Race with Alta Orlando also engaged.
After two terrific wins to start this campaign, the 10-year-old disappointed slightly when he led and tired for fourth at Menangle last Saturday night.
No doubt he’s better with a sit these days and driver Jack Callaghan will probably look to try and cross them at the start from the outside (gate 10) and then take a trail, especially over the longer 2300m this week.
Former high-class Kiwi pacer Mach Shard shapes as a watch runner. He should be nearing peak fitness after four runs back from a long spell and has gate four.