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Memsie run to shape Luckygray's campaign
Mathew Toogood
17:25 AEST Tue Aug 27 2013

Dual Group One winner Luckygray faces an early carnival moment of truth at Caulfield on Saturday in pursuit of a first Melbourne victory.

The former Perth galloper, now in the care of trainer Robert Smerdon, meets an expected all-star cast in the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

It's a race Smerdon will use to determine whether Luckygray can mix it in top weight-for-age company in Melbourne or will be better suited being aimed at handicap races such as the Rupert Clarke Stakes and Toorak Handicap.

Smerdon took Luckygray to Sandown on Tuesday morning for an 800m jump-out in preparation for the first Group One of the season.

Luckygray finished sixth in the Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) first-up for Smerdon and the trainer is confident the gelding has improved since.

But the field he will face is also a lot stronger.

"It will be a pretty deep task for him," Smerdon admitted.

"That's an impressive line-up, but we'll just see what he does and that will tell us where we go next with him.

"He seems good. He needed the run (first-up) and looks to have improved off it. So I'm happy with him."

Luckygray won his two Group Ones in Perth but hasn't run a place in five starts in Melbourne during his career.

The Memsie, which has been confirmed as the final race on Saturday's program, has 18 nominations including the unbeaten star Atlantic Jewel who hasn't raced since the All Aged Stakes in April last year.

However, Atlantic Jewel isn't a certain runner with trainer Mark Kavanagh to discuss first-up options for the unbeaten mare with her Coolmore Stud syndicate before Wednesday's acceptance deadline.

Last year's Memsie winner Sincero will wait another week for the Tramway Handicap in Sydney to give him time to recover from a foot abscess.

Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, Australian Cup winner Super Cool, multiple Group One winner It's A Dundeel and Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente are all entered for the Memsie.

Premier Melbourne trainer Peter Moody will start My Quest For Peace and is mulling over whether to give Strawberry Boy his first shot in a Group One.

Strawberry Boy is also entered for a 1400m handicap.


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