Heatherly Heads 2016 Oakleigh Plate Nominations

Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra’s smart filly Heatherly is one of the headline nominees for the Oakleigh Plate 2016 at Caulfield Racecourse on Blue Diamond Stakes Day this weekend in Melbourne.


In-form filly Heatherly is the headlined 2016 Oakleigh Plate nominee for this Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

One of three top level races on the program for Saturday, this season’s $500,000 Group 1 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) attracted 31 nominations.

Early Oakleigh Plate betting at bookmakers around the country is led by three-year-old Lonhro filly Heatherly who has won her past three starts on the trot.

The latest, which took her career record up to four wins from eight starts, was a five and a half length romp over Group 1 winner Politeness in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 13.

She is now top fancy to complete the Rubiton Stakes – Oakleigh Plate double last achieved by Lankan Rupee (2014) and become the first three-year-old filly to win the Group 1 since Miss Kournikova (2001).

Ellerton & Zahra have also nominated for Dane Shadow five-year-old Trevinder, the gelding second at the track on February 6 behind Shakespearean Lass in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m).

Battling for favouritism in early Oakleigh Plate betting with Heatherly is Bounding prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden in Sydney.

The five-year-old Lonhro mare will be first-up if accepted for on Saturday and boasts an outstanding record when fresh of four wins and two seconds from six starts to date.

She won the Group 3 The Heath 1100m at the track by four lengths in late August last year before her last start third to Catkins in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) in September.

She has trialled twice since in February including a five and a half-length winning hit-out at Randwick over 837m and is looking to become the third mare in four years to beat home the boys in the Oakleigh Plate joining Shamal Wind (2015) and Mrs Onassis (2013).

Last year’s winning trainer Robert Smerdon has two hopes in the mix this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival with Atmospherical and Reldas both coming off unplaced WJ Adams runs.

The other early favourite for the win on the weekend meanwhile is Keen Array for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig.

A three-year-old son of Bel Esprit, Keen Array enjoyed back-to-back October wins at Moonee Valley and Caulfield respectively before his last start second to Japonisme in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

Japonisme returned last Saturday for a brave third in a blanket finish down the straight in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), Keen Array out to further frank the Coolmore Stud Stakes form from the spring.

The last three-year-old Oakleigh Plate winner was Starspangledbanner (2010), Keen Array well fancied to be the next six years on.

The other highly fancied three-year-olds in the mix this season are Mick Price’s returning Not A Single Doubt filly Secret Agenda who won the Group 3 Red Roses (1100m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Peter Moody-trained Group 2 winning Exceed And Excel colt Kinglike and Headwater.

Prepared by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes, Headwater is another son of Exceed And Excel and he won the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) first-up at Flemington in late January.

See below for the full Oakleigh Plate 2016 nominations, the field and barrier draw due out on Wednesday morning.

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2016 Oakleigh Plate Nominations

Caulfield Racecourse – 27/02/2016

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 983x5080x7 ATMOSPHERICAL M 5 Robert Smerdon 95
2 40x111492x BLACK HEART BART G 5 Darren Weir 106
3 12x202x13x BOUNDING M 5 Peter & Paul Snowden 108
4 x2497x380x BRING ME THE MAID M 4 Peter G Moody 98
5 222113247x CASHED G 4 Ryan Balfour 88
6 23x815x13x DOTHRAKI G 5 Peter & Paul Snowden 106
7 215x5311x6 ECLAIR CHOICE G 4 Phillip Stokes 105
8 45x557143x FAST ’N’ ROCKING G 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 106
9 111x41111x FELL SWOOP G 4 Matthew Dale 99
10 2301x2617x FLAMBERGE G 6 Peter G Moody 109
11 x421419053 GRANE G 6 Robbie Griffiths 90
12 326x73082x GREGERS M 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 103
13 2x9932587x GRIANTE M 5 David Brideoake 100
14 135x7948x1 HEADWATER C 3 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 96
15 152×23111 HEATHERLY F 3 Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra 103
16 0x9835x059 IT IS WRITTEN G 7 Robbie Griffiths 96
17 40x112112x KEEN ARRAY G 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 96
18 21x16x KINGLIKE C 3 Peter G Moody 89
19 813x8375x5 KURO (NZ) H 4 Lee & Anthony Freedman 99
20 227042270x LORD OF THE SKY H 5 Robbie Laing 105
21 31787x461x PITTSBURGH FLYER M 4 Lee & Shannon Hope 98
22 140×1 PURITAN G 3 Jason Warren 82
23 3×43849279 READY SUNSHINE G 5 Ryan Balfour 71
24 683×112526 RELDAS G 5 Robert Smerdon 94
25 1x0x1221x SECRET AGENDA F 3 Mick Price 88
26 4x08119x0x SMOKIN’ JOEY G 8 Wez Hunter 106
27 19x93123x1 SWINGING ARMS G 5 Scott Trenowden 94
28 166x7621x3 THE QUARTERBACK G 5 Robbie Griffiths 98
29 230×812532 TREVINDER G 5 Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra 87
30 550x43510x TRISTRAM’S SUN (NZ) G 7 Robbie Laing 94
31 538x13641x VEZALAY M 4 Leon & Troy Corstens 96


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