The Group One Memsie Stakes is the first Group One race of the 2017/18 season.
HISTORY: First run in 1899 at one mile (1600m) and won by Veneda. The race was given Group One status in 2013. This year the 1400m weight-for-age race has had a significant prize money increase to $1 million.
NOTABLE WINNERS: Phar Lap won in 1931 at nine furlongs (1800m); Makybe Diva won in 2005 and four starts later won her third Melbourne Cup.
* Black Heart Bart will be striving to become the first horse since Sunline in 2001 to win the race back-to-back
* The field of 12 includes nine individual Group One winners
* Darren Weir has three runners with Humidor and Tosen Stardom joining Black Heart Bart
* The race has attracted interstate runners in Le Romain, Single Gaze and Yankee Rose as well as New Zealand visitor Jon Snow.
WHAT THE MAIN PLAYERS ARE SAYING:
“He has come on well from a really encouraging first-up run. He’s ready for 1400 metres and he’s got a good second-up record.” – trainer Kris Lees on Le Romain
“Black Heart Bart’s probably the pick of my bunch. Some people might have thought his first-up run was a little bit below par but I thought it was a pass mark. He always comes on really well after he’s had a run. He’s in great shape.” – trainer Darren Weir.
“It’s a good horse’s race and he’ll have to be a good horse to win it. But I think he’s well up to it.” – Hey Doc’s jockey Luke Currie.