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Tally to count in season’s opening G1 at Caulfield

Mike Hedge

The benefits of a well-deserved Winter break go on show when Tally runs in the G1 Memsie Stakes, the first G1 race of the Australian season, at Caulfield on Saturday, August 27.

A revelation last term when he strung together a four-win Autumn sequence, Tally returned to trainer John O’Shea’s stable in the sort of condition that suggests he is ready to move up to the major league.

“He went out after his Autumn campaign as a teenager and has returned as a young man,” O’Shea said.

“Last time in he came a long way from restricted class to winning a couple of Group 2 races and then kept going to run third in the Australian Derby.

“It was a great effort and showed he was a horse capable of stepping up this Spring.”

The Memsie is Tally’s stiffest assignment to date with such classy opposition as the G1 winner Black Heart Bart, Mahuta and Tavago, the colt who relegated him to third in the G1 Australian Derby.

“He’s had a trial in Sydney before going to Melbourne and has continued to work well,” O’Shea said.

Tally, to be ridden by Michael Dee, is joined on the Caulfield card by Arab Dawn (John O’Shea/Ben Melham), a former UK-trained middle-distance performer who created a good impression when winning at his second Australian start last Autumn.

The Royal Ascot-winning son of Dalakhani is another who appears to have come on during his winter break.

“He’s come back from his spell very well and left Sydney looking nice and round,” O’Shea said.

“He’d worked well before going to Melbourne and I won’t be surprised if there’s a good race in him this prep.”

Also at Caulfield, the in-form sprinter Badajoz runs in the non-graded Tile Importer Handicap with Antelucan making her return from a spell in the Hockingstuart Plate.