Tony McEvoy has added some spice to Saturday's Australia Day Cup at Randwick, using it as a testing ground for emerging French-bred stayer Big Memory.
The four-year-old is from McEvoy's second foray to Europe after the success of a first group that included Le Roi and Mouro. After a poor first preparation in Australia, Big Memory was gelded and has found form, leading his trainer to start thinking about the Adelaide Cup.
"He is the first and only one from the second group to race so far," he said. "The first prep he just wasn't concentrating, so we stopped and gelded him and it's helped him. What he was showing me in the morning wasn't coming out on the track, but since he came back and he has showed the ability I knew he had. He is a bit younger than the first group and I don't know where to put him in terms of those horses, but we will find out a lot more about him on Saturday."
The summer staying series has been a showcase for Chris Waller's raft of stayers, and he has Brigantin and I'm Imposing in Saturday's 2400 metre listed race. Gai Waterhouse has Travolta, while Midsummer Sun, which caused a bit of a shock in the Gosford Cup last time, is after back-to-back wins.
Big Memory offers a different form line after running second in benchmark races at Ballarat and Morphettville before showing a strong turn of foot to score in rating-74 race at Canterbury on December 28.
"This is a rather aggressive preparation for me but I need to know if he is up to the grade if he is going to go to the Adelaide Cup," McEvoy said. "He won over 1900m at Canterbury but I have always thought he was going to stay. It is a huge step up in class and distance but … with a bit of speed he'll get his chance."
The story Australia Day Cup: Tony McEvoy spices up strong line-up with Big Memory first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.