In-form Cranbourne galloper Rich Jack gets the chance to prove himself in black-type company this weekend at Caulfield Racecourse with connections pushing to run the Carole Heffernan-trained gelding in the Bletchingly Stakes 2015.
Currently 15 gallopers remain in the mix for the $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), the weight-for-age sprint closing stakes racing for the 2014-15 season.
A five-year-old son of Danerich Rich Jack has had 13 starts to date for five wins, a second and four thirds, and he is yet to run worse than fourth.
He only holds a rating of 83 however and is yet to race in black-type or weight-for-age company.
His latest start was over the same track and distance as the Bletchingly when winning a BenchMark 78 at Caulfield by one and a quarter lengths over Sir Mask on July 4 carrying a hefty 60.5kg.
While Heffernan would have preferred to get that rating up a little higher before taking on a Group 3 field that could include Group 1 winner Smokin’ Joey and dual Group 1 runner-up Lord Of The Sky, she will follow the wishes of Rich Jack’s owner David Mackintosh with a Bletchingly Stakes acceptance for Saturday.
“He’s a very good owner and that’s what he wants,” Heffernan told Racing and Sports.
“The horse deserves the chance but I worry a little bit.
“He’s a good horse but I would have preferred to get his rating up into the nineties or something first.”
It will be just the second time she had saddled up a black-type runner following Gold Boss in the 1997 Debutant Stakes at Caulfield.
While admitting to being a little nervous about his chances, Heffernan is also excited ahead of the Bletchingly Stakes Day feature race with Rich Jack having come on well since she started dressage sessions with him.
“It helped him with his settling out in front,” she said.
“We’re going to be up against a different class of horse on Saturday and I do worry if something takes him on whether he will settle or not.”
Under the WFA conditions of Saturday’s test Rich Jack will carry 58.5kg, the lightest weight he has had on his back since a win at Sale on May 13 carrying 55kg, and his winning hoop from last start Darren Gauci retains the ride.
“Darren knows him and he is a horse that somebody has to know,” Heffernan said.
“You have to sit cold on him and Darren understands that.”
Along with top two rated entries Smokin’ Joey and Lord Of The Sky, other notable Bletchingly Stakes hopefuls this winter include Peter Moody’s Sir John Monash Stakes runner-up Angels Beach and returning Sandown Guineas winner Petrology.
The official Bletchingly Stakes 2015 field and barriers are set for release shortly so stay tuned.
In the meantime head to Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account with the bookie offering a Bonus Bet for 2nd or 3rd in the Group 3 at Caulfield on the weekend!