Co-trainer Simon Zahra is confident that talented mare Heatherly will prove very tough to beat when she lines up for the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Heatherly has been a standout through a reasonably light but impressive racing career so far; posting five wins and a further four minors through ten competitive starts since debuting in early 2015.
Having returned to racing this time for a classy win in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago, Zahra told Racing Ahead that Heatherly has only improved for the run and will hopefully continue her winning run of form through the McEwen Stakes 2016.
“She’s come through in great order, her coat’s really dropped off and she has that fantastic glow about her,” Zahra said.
“I think this run will just top her off beautifully for hopefully the Moir in a month’s time.
“She’s probably still a fraction on the tubby side but we’ve brought her on nice and slow and her work last Saturday was awesome, and you can really see the improvement in her.
“She’s going to have to keep stepping up every time and she’s come up with a pretty ordinary barrier tomorrow, so she’s going to have to do some work early.
“With Wild Rain moving up from the inside there, there’s going to be a really hot tempo.
“I think with that one run under her belt she’s probably improved three or four lengths. She’s a quality mare and we’re building up to that Group 1 and hopefully she’ll get the job done tomorrow.”
Taking out the Slickpix BM78 (1000m) by more than three lengths on January 2nd, Heatherly repeated the dose in the Andrew Guy Plate (1100m) before breaking through for a maiden black type win in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) on February 13th.
Confirmed amongst particularly classy company in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 27th, the Lonhro mare produced a strong kick in the final straight to finish a pleasing third.
Allocated barrier 9, Heatherly has been confirmed to be partnered by Damien Lane and is currently available at 2016 McEwen Stakes odds of $2.40 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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