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Messene Confirmed For Missile Stakes
Trainer Michael Hawkes has confirmed that Messene (Lonhro-Belle Giselle, by Redoute's Choice) will begin his spring carnival campaign in Saturday's Gr2 Missile Stakes at Randwick with his primary target the Gr1 Epsom in October. Despite now being 6 years old, the lightly raced gelding showed he was one of the most progressive gallopers in the country winning 4 of his 5 starts last season, highlighted by an impressive 3-length win in the Gr2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) in the autumn. "He's done well. He's come through his trials really good. It's a nice starting point," Hawkes told RSN's Racing Ahead, referring to the Missile. "This horse has always got better as he's gone on through every preparation. He's bigger and stronger, and he's actually a lot more relaxed. This race is the right race to start him in but whatever he does he will definitely improve once he gets out over more ground." He added, "Whether they will be too nippy for him over the 1200m, I'm not sure but he still has that sharpness about him. He's a quality horse and we're looking forward to him running on Saturday." Messene is a homebred for the Cloros family and is the first live foal of the Redoute's Choice mare Belle Giselle. Belle Giselle's dam Mam'Selle Giselle (Kenmare-Lady Giselle, Nureyev) is a sister to Gr1 Australian Guineas winner Baryshnikov and a half-sister to Gr1 Australian Guineas winner and champion stallion Zabeel. Interestingly, this means that Messene carries a 3f x 4m cross of influential broodmare Lady Giselle. This is also the family of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winning mare Detroit and her sire son Carnegie, who emulated his mother by landing the 1995 renewal of the Arc.
Messene (Image: Steve Hart)