Jockey Tommy Berry is thrilled to have picked up the ride on Messene in Saturday’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, and is confident the popular veteran is ready for a successful racing return in the featured sprint.
Messene has posted an impressive nine wins and three minors through only sixteen competitive starts so far, and has not been seen at the races since failing to fire and ninth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in the early stages of last year’s Spring Carnival.
Having partnered the classy son of Lonhro in a strong Randwick barrier trial on Tuesday, Berry told AAP he is confident the horse is ready for a successful return to racing in the 2015 Missile Stakes.
“He trialled really well. He did it pretty much on the bit,” Berry told Sydney’s Sky Sports radio.
“I love the way he really quickened up in the straight without me asking him to.
“It was only a soft trial because he does race Saturday.”
A strong and consistent performer for Team Hawkes from his first competitive appearance during the 2012 Messene arguably found peak condition the first time through the 2013 autumn; highlighted by a close second in the Settlement At Cranbourne BM78 (1400m) and three consecutive wins in Metropolitan Saturday sprints.
Continuing his impressive record through a brief summer campaign, Messene made a successful transition to black type racing upon resuming in 2014; taking out each of the Listed National Sprint (1400m) and Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) before placing a credible seventh in the featured Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Returning in spring for a close second behind Sweet Idea in the Missile Stakes, Messene was unable to match the late pace of champion runner Dissident when ninth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), in what was his only other start prior to the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Messene was confirmed in a final field of nine runners for the 2015 Missile Stakes on Wednesday, and will leave from the ideal barrier 3.
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