Katelyn Mallyon allowed Heatherly to lead before posting a near-six length win in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago, but the young hoop has revealed tactics may not be the same for the three-year-old in Saturday’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.
Heatherly has displayed an impressive ability to fly the gates and immediately take up the running in each of her five competitive starts since returning this time on December 15th, but undoubtedly faces her toughest task to date in a capacity Oakleigh Plate field rich with speed.
Mallyon is confident the classy Lonhro filly is more than up to the task of the 2016 Oakleigh Plate but concedes she faces a far-tougher task in running the talented field ragged in the early stages of the feature race.
“I think there is going to be a little bit more pressure than what there was last start, with a couple of horses drawn on the outside,” Mallyon told Racing Ahead.
“She has brilliant speed naturally and she is quite versatile.
“Damian Lane has done a beautiful job getting her to settle and she has her earmuffs on.
“It is nice that she can sit off if they are going too hard and she is pretty versatile like that, but with 50 kilos on her back from a nice barrier, I am sure she is going to be forward.
“Whether or not I lead or not I will play it by ear on how the race is panning out.
“With 50 kilos, she has brilliant speed and a high cruising speed, so we won’t take that away from her.”
Mallyon is thrilled to have retained the ride on the leading contender in the 2016 Oakleigh Plate and confident she can continue a winning affiliation with the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained filly.
“I am very excited for the race on Saturday,” Mallyon said.
“It was nice to draw a nice barrier and I am really looking forward to it.
“She was super impressive last start, it has given me a lot of confidence and given her a lot of confidence.
“Dropping a kilo in weights is even better for her.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering Heatherly at 2016 Oakleigh Plate odds of $5 for success or $2 to finish in the first three.