A quality field of stayers, many kicking off their Melbourne Spring Cups campaigns, will face off at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday in the Heatherlie Stakes 2016.
Due to run as the penultimate event on the Memsie Stakes Day card, this year’s $120,000 Listed Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) is scheduled as Caulfield Race 8 at 4:50pm (AEST).
The Heatherlie Stakes field features 14 final acceptors, two of which currently share favouritism in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The early market mover firming into $4.50 favouritism in the Heatherlie Stakes odds over Provocative is the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained European import Tom Melbourne.
The Dylan Thomas six-year-old races for the first time since his disappointing 10th as the beaten favourite on April 2 in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m).
Only lightly-raced, the galloper has won five of his eight starts to date but has his first run at Caulfield on the weekend.
The class looks to suit, he runs well fresh (3-2-0-0), has won over the distance and the right run here from barrier five can set him up for a good spring campaign.
Opening top fancy at $4.50, but now out to $5, is the resuming Tony Pike-trained Queensland Oaks winner Provocative.
The now four-year-old Zabeel mare hails from New Zealand and was last seen winning both of her Queensland runs in the winter including the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
She overcame barrier 16 of 18 for that mile and a half victory that she blitzed by three lengths and on Saturday she runs first-up from another wide alley drawn in barrier 12 of 14.
This campaign Provocative targets the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15 and will head towards that classic via the Heatherlie Stakes and the $150,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on September 17.
The next best in betting and only other runner under $10 for the win at $9 is the defending Heatherlie Stakes winner Magnapal in barrier three with Luke Currie to ride on 58kg.
Prepared at Stawell by Terry & Karina O’Sullivan, the Magnus seven-year-old comes off a number of unplaced runs at the track.
He won this race second-up last year as a $16 shot with Currie in the saddle before going on to beat home The United States in the Naturalism Stakes.
That was followed by a close second in Moonee Valley’s Group 2 JRA Cup (2040m) before he was outclassed in the Caulfield Cup running 14th to the since-retired Kiwi raider Mongolian Khan as a 31/1 outsider.
This season Magnapal has had two Caulfield runs finishing ninth in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) and then eight in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on August 13.
He was only beaten two lengths in the Lawrence Stakes carrying 59kg as a 61/1 roughie, will appreciate the extra distance on Saturday and dropping back to 58kg looks a decent chance to finish in the money.
Other notable Heatherlie Stakes hopes representing good value in betting include the Hawkes Racing-trained son of Lonhro Longeron ($11) who has good Caulfield form (6-2-0-3), the consistent Second Bullet ($11) and the John O’Shea-trained British import Arab Dawn ($12).
See below for the complete Heatherlie Stakes 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).