Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Robert Smerdon’s Group 1 placed Under The Louvre is the market mover and narrow favourite to improve on a last start mid-field finish and get back to winning form at Sandown on Saturday in the 2015 Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
A field of 11 weight-for-age hopefuls face off in Race 3 at 2:10pm (AEST) on Zipping Classic Day at Sandown Hillside for this year’s edition of the $150,000 Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m).
Two are battling for top spot in the latest Kevin Heffernan Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au with current top fancy being Excellent Art stallion Under The Louvre ($3.60 into $3.10).
The five-year-old is yet to race at the track or over 1300m but does have winning form over 1400m.
He hasn’t won since late March but is twice Group 1 placed since then most recently running a narrow third only a neck off the winner in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 26.
Last time out Under The Louvre ran sixth in the Group 2 tab.com.au Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day beaten two lengths as the $4.60 favourite, but is out to atone over more distance with his strong late sectionals the deciding factor.
Hot on his heels in Kevin Heffernan Stakes betting at $3.50 is another galloper firming in the markets, Generalife (in from $3.90).
Drawn one on the inside of Under The Louvre with the two drawn in barriers six and seven respectively, the John O’Shea-trained visiting Sydney galloper has a very nice 1300m record to date with four wins, a second and two thirds from seven runs over the distance.
A six-year-old son of Lonhro, Generalife also hasn’t won a race since the end of March and in matching stats with his biggest danger on the weekend has also run two Group 1 places since then.
They were back-to-back in Brisbane during the winter however in the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap, his only run since being a fifth in the tab.com.au Stakes on October 31.
Two other Kevin Heffernan Stakes hopes are under double figures for the win this weekend with returning veteran Smokin’ Joey ($6) and the Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained Famous Seamus ($8).
A Group 1 winner in Adelaide last year, Wez Hunter’s Encosta De Lago eight-year-old Smokin’ Joey returns from injury this weekend shooting for just his second first-up win at his 12th attempt not having raced since a last when ninth in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in mid-August.
Famous Seamus, drawn a treat for Saturday in barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride on the Elusive City seven-year-old, is also a Group 1 winner from last year (BTC Cup) and comes to the end of his prep here after his first top three finish since his third in the2014 Manikato Stakes in October last year.
The next best in betting at more generous odds but still boasting genuine claims of an upset include Peter Moody’s four-year-old Sebring mare Bring Me The Maid ($13) and the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained fellow four-year-old Java ($14) who is undefeated at the track with two previous wins including the Group 3 Manfred Stakes over this distance back in January.
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2015 Kevin Heffernan Stakes Betting
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