The last Group 1 of the current racing season is...
Mick Price’s in-form mare Dubleanny is seeking her third win on the trot when she lines up against a classy field down the Flemington straight this Saturday.
Dubelo four-year-old Dubleanny is one of 12 acceptors for the $125,000 Listed Henry Bucks Straight Six (1200m) this year, one of three feature races marking the return of the black-type action at Flemington for the season.
Drawn just better than mid-field in barrier five and to be ridden by Craig Newitt, Dubleanny is the clear $2.35 favourite in the current Henry Bucks Straight Six markets following her recent good form.
Two starts ago she won a 1200m handicap at Flemington in April before heading over to Adelaide where she hung on for a gritty victory in the Listed Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville.
One of the other well-backed Henry Bucks staters for Saturday is the Mark Kavanagh-trained Liveandletdie.
Kavanagh has four runners at Flemington on Saturday, including Street Cry colt Liveandletdie who comes off a close third when beaten a quarter of a length by Pitt Street in the James Boag’s Plate (1400m) at the same track on May 7.
In Liveandletdie’s advantage is the nice drop down in weight from the hefty 58.5kg he carried last start to the minimum 53kg they are allocated in the Straight Six.
“He drops 5.5kg on his last start and he’s a winner down the straight,” Kavanagh said.
“Dubleanny will be hard to beat in that race, but I think he’ll run well.”
Another of Kavanagh’s Flemington starters on Saturday is imported five-year-old December Draw, the gelding kicking off their time under Kavanagh’s preparation in good style when winning the AGL renewable Energy Trophy over the Flemington mile a fortnight ago.
December Draw will attempt back-to-back wins when they contest the $75,000 Banjo Paterson Series Heat 1 (2000m).
“He’s a nice surprise package that’s come from overseas,” Kavanagh said of December Draw.
“It was a good win last start.
“The 2000 metres will probably suit him better.
“He’s still down in the weights (54.5kg) and he’s trained on nicely.
“Hopefully he can go on with it.”
While Kavanagh keeps things in motion at Flemington this weekend, the former Melbourne Cup-winning trainer is more excited over the upcoming debuts of some of his unraced juveniles ahead of the spring carnival.
“The only big of excitement you’ll see come out of my place in the next few weeks is a lot of well bred two-year-olds come through and have one or two starts and try and qualify for the spring,” Kavanagh said.
“I had a $NZ2 million one last week and I’ve got Makybe Diva’s second foal coming up in the next few weeks.”
Kavanagh was referring to Zabeel colt Zephyron, the equal second highest-priced yearling by Zabeel ever sold, who ran a game fourth on debut over Heavy ground in a 1200m handicap at Caulfield last Saturday.
Zephyron is expected to improve in the spring with Kavanagh saying he is at least 12 months from his best.
“He’s bred to be a four-year-old,” Kavanagh said.
“We’re hoping he could be a three-year-old and so he’ll have a run or two in his first preparation with the view to getting him ready for the spring.
“There aren’t too many Zabeels that win as two-year-olds.”
Meanwhile there are many racing enthusiasts eagerly awaiting to see Makybe Diva’s second foal come through the ranks after the filly by Fusaichi Pegasus sold for $1.2 million at the Sydney 2010 Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Kavanagh will be hoping for better success with the triple Melbourne Cup champion’s second foal after the disappointing start to the career of her first offspring Rockstardom.
The Galileo colt, trained by Danny O’Brien, has failed to finish better than third in any of their seven starts to date and most recently finished dead last in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day.
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