Beirut Targets 2016 Bletchingly Stakes

The end-of-month Bletchingly Stakes 2016 is a possible target for Henry Dwyer’s smart mare Beirut after she enjoyed a mid-week win at Sandown-Lakeside on Wednesday.

Henry Dwyer

Caulfield horseman Henry Dwyer eyes a 2016 Bletchingly Stakes run for his mare Beirut. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The five-year-old daughter of Lonhro posted her third win on the trot with jockey Chris Symons guiding her to an all-the-way 3.25 length win over Kalashani Lad on a Heavy (9) track in the $40,000 The Cove Hotel Handicap (1200m).

A proven mudlark, it was Beirut’s second straight wet track win after ploughing through a Heavy (10) at Cranbourne on May 27 for an equally impressive Benchmark 70 win over 1200m.

Her other victory this campaign was over the same track and distance as Wednesday’s race from May 11, and she continues to make the right steps towards a maiden Black-Type assignment.

To date Beirut has had 28 career starts for six wins and 10 other minor placings, six with her Caulfield-based trainer Dwyer who is tempted to test her in stakes’ company before she heads to the breeding barn.

“She’s a mare that came to us and was on her last chance and was probably heading off to stud, which she probably still is,” Dwyer told AAP post-win on Wednesday.

“But Chris Caserta just rode her aggressively one day [at Cranbourne in April], probably contrary to instructions, and we found out something about her.

“She never looked like being beaten today.”

Dwyer has one more winter run planned for Saturday week at Caulfield over 1200m.

Should Beirut extend her winning streak to four straight, he could be tempted to start her at her home track on July 30 in the $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).

“I think she’s even improved again today and hopefully we can win a Saturday race with her,” Dwyer said.

“I’d say she’ll still go to stud this year but if we can win a Saturday race in the meantime that would be good.

“And if she was to win a Saturday race next start then we might even have a throw at the stumps in the Bletchingly Stakes.”

The weight-for-age Bletchingly Stakes is the last Group race held in July ahead of the Horse’s Birthday on August 1.

It traditionally makes a nice lead-up run for returning spring hopes looking to back-up at the track the next month in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), a double last achieved by Second Effort (2012).

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