Brightside building up for Memsie

No Lawrence Stakes three-peat, Memsie return for Mr Brightside

MR BRIGHTSIDE winning the Stow Storage Memsie Stakes at Caulfield in Australia.
MR BRIGHTSIDE winning the Stow Storage Memsie Stakes at Caulfield in Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

If there is any merit to the theory that racing against Pride Of Jenni takes more out of horses, no galloper has been exposed to potential ill-effects more this year than Mr Brightside.

The Ben, Will and Jd Hayes-trained gelding has been a rival of Pride Of Jenni four times in 2024, starting with the C F Orr Stakes – which he won narrowly – but then chased her home in the All-Star Mile (second), Australian Cup (fifth) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (third).

Mr Brightside headed for a well-earned break after the Queen Elizabeth on April 13, which Ben Hayes said the rising seven-year-old, who returned to work earlier this month, embraced.

"We can't fault him, he's a happy horse and he's working great," Hayes said.

"He put on nearly 40-45 kilos, so he had a really good holiday.

"He's carrying some nice condition, but that's a good position to be in at this time."

The son of Bullbars will be stepped up to even-time work this week but is being prepared to start his spring campaign later than the past two seasons.

Last year he became just the third dual winner of the P B Lawrence Stakes and a shot at becoming the first three-time winner of that Group 2 event beckons, but Hayes said his new-season debut would come in Caulfield's other 1400m weight-for-age event in August.

"We're going to miss the Lawrence," Hayes said. "We just wanted to give him a little bit more of a break and we'll go to the Memsie first-up.

"There are not many other options for a horse like him, otherwise you're kicking off over a mile, so the Memsie will be the go at this stage and then there is no direct path towards a race like a Cox Plate for us."

Mr Brightside also won last year's $750,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes, which will this year be run at Caulfield on August 31.