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Colette chasing further G1 glory in Memsie, Paulele in good order ahead of G3 San Domenico

Mike Hedge

Proven versatility, a well-recognised liking for a wet track and abundant natural ability support the prospects of Colette when she resumes in Saturday’s G1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.

Colette announced herself as a filly with star potential when she won the G1 ATC Oaks (2,400m) in her first racing preparation and followed her Classic success with victory in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1,500m) win in her next campaign.

The James Cummings-trained mare commenced her last prep with a brilliant two-length victory in the G2 Apollo Stakes (1,400m) beating G1 winners Kolding and Verry Elleegant. Two weeks later Verry Elleegant just nosed her out on the line in the G1 Chipping Norton (1,600m).

Her next three runs saw her form taper off slightly on tracks that might have been drier than she likes, but she nevertheless finished just behind the placegetters, the latter two performances at G1 level.

Colette concluded the 2020/21 season among the top five money earners in Australia with almost $4.5 million in stakes.

Cummings believes Colette would have further enhanced her record last time in had she found her preferred wet tracks and is keen to see another first-up success.

“A first-up win this preparation would carry more significance than it did last time in,” the trainer said.

Set to partner the mare for the first time, Damien Oliver and Colette will jump from the widest alley, barrier 12 on a track currently rated a soft 5. 

Rising-star three-year-old colt Paulele set the early standard for three-year-old colts with a brilliant first-up win in the Listed Rosebud and will attempt to add Saturday's G3 San Domenico Stakes at Kembla Grange to his already impressive record.

Paulele’s three wins as a two-year-old included the G3 Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick, which is regarded as a “good-horses’ race”, with recent winners including Bivouac, Astern, Hallowed Crown, Belle Du Jour and Easy Rocking.

“I’m really happy with the way he has progressed, he is in excellent order,” Cummings told the Daily Telegraph. 

“We will be running in the San Domenico and the sparks will be flying because there is plenty of depth in the race.”

Bolstering Godolphin’s three-year-old contingent this weekend and chasing spring riches is Heresy (Damien Oliver) in the G3 McNeil Stakes (1,200m). 

A G3 winner over 1,200m at her second start, the filly returned to Melbourne and confirmed the form with a close G3 second over 1,100m at this course on 14 August, the daughter of Street Boss lines up against a strong contingent of colts including the resuming G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Artorius. The Blue Diamond winner jumps from barrier four with the filly drawing his inside in barrier three.

Victory for Heresy would continue the outstanding record of her sire Street Boss who has been elevated to new prominence in Australasia in recent seasons by such Stakes winners such as Anamoe, Arcaded, Atullibigeal in New Zealand and Hanseatic.

Other runners of note for Saturday’s Caulfield meeting include Viridine (Damien Oliver) who resumes in the G3 The Heath Stakes (1,100m), Plaquette (Damien Oliver) in the G3 Cockram Stakes (1,200m), and Zeigfeld (Damien Oliver) in the Listed Heatherlie Stakes (1,700m). 

Like his stablemate Cascadian, Ziegfeld was trained by André Fabre in France where he won three races including one Listed and was G2-placed. Ziegfeld will be having his fifth Australian start having first stepped out for the Cummings yard in February of 2021 and has been improving with racing.