Athena Lass On To 2016 Lightning Stakes

Lindsay Park’s David Hayes is considering a trip to Adelaide at the end of the month for a shot at the Lightning Stakes 2016 with Athena Lass after her smart win on debut this week.

Cory Parish

Jockey Cory Parish rode Athena Lass to victory on debut at Moonee Valley on Wednesday. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The two-year-old daughter of Snitzel blitzed a recent 900m trial on a Heavy (10) track at Wangaratta before the filly’s first official trip to the races at Moonee Valley on Wednesday.

She lined-up on another mud track, the Valley rated a Heavy (8) for the midweek meet, and jumped $4.20 second favourite in betting for the $35,000 two-years-old handicap.

Cory Parish had the ride on the Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained youngster and took her forward early in the 1000m sprint, the filly settling just on the outside of the leader before finishing off strongly.

On the line Athena Lass had a quarter-length to spare over the Robbie Griffiths-trained colt Hale Bay ($12) with Robert Smerdon’s Group 3 performed and stakes-placed Sebring filly Motwon Lil ($10) a further two and a half lengths back for third.

Impressed with the winner’s debut, Hayes said a trip to Morphettville Racecourse on July 30 for the $100,000 Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) could be on the cards for Athena Lass next race.

“That was a really good debut, I think it was a deep race and she had to sustain a lot of pressure in the middle stages,” Hayes told Racing Victoria.

“We will just see how she pulls up, we could save her for next season or we may look at a black-type race in Adelaide for her.

“She has won her maiden now and beat a good field in the process.”

Winning hoop Parish said the victory could be even stronger than it looks on paper as things didn’t go exactly to plan for Athena Lass who he rates as a youngster to watch heading into the three-years-old races of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

“She is very nice filly, I like her quite a lot and she has thrown her off fore shoe, maybe just before the corner so her effort might be even better than it looks,” he said.

Last year’s Lightning Stakes was won by the Mark Kavanagh-trained Wild Rain, the Manhattan Rain mare taking out the winter feature on the back of a second in Caulfield’s Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m).

She went on to race again during the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington crossing second to The Quarterback in the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) on Crown Oaks Day.

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