Heatherly On Track For Carlyon Stakes Defence

Co-trainer Simon Zahra is confident that Heatherly will prove extremely tough to beat when she makes her competitive return in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on August 26th.

Heatherly is on track for a return in the Listed Carlyon Stakes at The Valley on August 26th. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Heatherly is on track for a return in the Listed Carlyon Stakes at The Valley on August 26th. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Winner of the Carlyon Stakes at her first point of call ahead of a glittering Spring Carnival campaign in 2016, Heatherly has been the stable star for Zahra and co-trainer Mathew Ellerton throughout her entire racing career so far and will resume this time with a commendable record of six wins and as many minors, from only fifteen career starts.

Having beaten the likes of Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior in a smart 800m trial at Flemington last week, the Lonhro mare flew home in good time to beat Vega Magic on Sunday morning and Zahra believes that she will be ready to compete in the Carlyon Stakes.

“She trialled super,” Zahra told AAP.

“It was a quick trial. We actually got them breaking 43 seconds.

“She beat a Group One winner (Vega Magic) and there was daylight to third and then daylight again. It was a pretty hot trial.

“We’ve got a couple of weeks so we can freshen her up a bit now and make sure she’s all OK.

“But she seems in good order.”

Progressing to second in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1100m) following her win in the Carlyon Stakes last year, Heatherly was returned to the paddock after she flew home to finish second behind Extreme Choice in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).

Trialling well in the lead-up to her autumn campaign this year, Heatherly ran credibly for sixth in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) first-up, before returning to winning form in the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m), but failed to fire when eighth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) last time out on March 18th.

The 2017 Carlyon Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday August 23rd.

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