Big Memory can confirm he is on target for a rich race in Sydney as he also tries to lock in a Caulfield Cup start when he runs at Mornington.
The Mornington Cup has been in trainer Tony McEvoy’s plans for Big Memory all campaign, with the $1.6 million Group One Sydney Cup on April 11 a goal.
Big Memory is one of 26 nominations for Saturday’s Mornington Cup, a $350,000 race which carries with it a ballot exemption into the 2015 Caulfield Cup for the winner.
The stayer was beaten less than three lengths when 10th in last year’s Caulfield Cup after winning his way into the race in the Herbert Power Stakes.
He missed a Melbourne Cup start by one place in the ballot.
McEvoy acknowledged it was a chance for Big Memory to shore up a Caulfield Cup place if he won on Saturday and said the race fitted in well with the horse’s program.
“I wanted to go through the Melbourne program which I thought suited him better to get to the Sydney Cup,” McEvoy said.
“The Sydney Cup has been his goal all the way along and the Mornington Cup route was the best one I thought for him.”
Big Memory was a close fourth in the Carlyon Stakes first-up before his third to Index Linked and Extra Zero with 60kg in the Mornington Cup Prelude.
He was beaten more than seven lengths in the Australian Cup last start after settling back in the field.
“His first two runs were fantastic and I was disappointed with his last start,” McEvoy said.
“Where I was disappointed, from the 450 (metres) to the 250 (metres) he had an opportunity to make ground and he didn’t. Then when Mark Zahra thought he was about to build momentum the run closed.
“So it was a bit of a confusing run. Mark Zahra was not disappointed, but I was.”
McEvoy watched Big Memory work on Tuesday with Zahra in the saddle and believes the horse is as good as he can be for Saturday.
“He galloped nicely, his action was good. He’s fit and happy,” McEvoy said.
Meanwhile, McEvoy said the Caulfield Cup will also be one of goals for Alpine Eagle in the spring, with the Australian Guineas runner-up out spelling after his autumn campaign.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au