The 2021 Memsie features a trio of Group One winners at the trip. Last year's winner Behemoth has won twice at the top level over 1400m, as has Streets Of Avalon, and the Stradbroke winner Tofane has done it three times.
Adding to that, Sansom, Aegon, Colette, Inspirational Girl and Sierra Sue are all Group winners at the distance, giving us the makings of a proper contest but, for all of that, it is the obvious that appeals.
Behemoth and Tofane head the market as a pair of 'four somethings' but their hold on the race might be a bit tighter than that and, in the case of Behemoth in particular, we are happy to bet on it.
Behemoth won this race last year at around $3.20, stepping up sharply on a winning return in the Spring Stakes. He follows the same path this time and, while it was achived a bit differently, he does so off the same rating from the Spring Stakes.
It must be conceded that he also came off something similar in Adelaide to be outpointed in the Futurity without excuses in the autumn but he again was priced up around $3.50 and that race was arguably stronger with Probabeel replacing Tofane and Arcadia Queen in place of Inspirational Girl.
Inspirational Girl is interesting, her work in Perth strong and all pointing to her having more to offer than we have seen so far, but she she's off a long break here and the 1400m around Caulfield can be plenty sharp enough for her.
Similarly, Colette has form to make her a threat, her Apollo win over the trip the real party piece, but a wide draw around here on good ground could see her nowhere near as well suited as Behemoth and we can risk her running to her best.
With no reason to think any less of Behemoth now, and the addition of Jamie Kah potential reason to think more of him, prices bigger than $4.00 look worth taking.
Behemoth has a Timeform rating of 122, which is the highest in the Memsie, but he doesn't stand alone on the card at that mark. Masked Crusader is also rated 122 and he heads up The Heath, a Group Three sprint, where he will set off on his Everest expedition.
He has an obviously good chance, clearly top pick on Timeform's ratings and the marketplace rightly agrees, but there are little queries. He is 1/4 shy of 1200m (admittedly when not the horse that he has since developed into) and there is a chance he gets into an awkward spot around here with eyes on bigger prizes further down the track.
The horse to take him on with each way is Viridine. Crosshaven and Poland don't shape as ideally suited at 1100m and it might be on the sharp side for Amish Boy as well. It's the right trip for Oxley Road but he has to prove that he is good enough with the best of Viridine to much better than what he has offered up to this point.
That of course assumes that we get the best of Viridine here, and he's really only 'just going' at the moment, but things haven't really fallen in his lap in recent runs and if they do he could quickly recapture something like that form which makes him more than a match for any of these bar the favourite. $12.00 looks a good each way gamble.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 8 #2 Behemoth @ $4.20
Each Way Play: Race 5 #5 Viridine @ $12.00