The money continues to roll in for Annabel...
Sydney horseman Bryce Heys is far from announcing his stallion Spieth as a winning hope in Saturday’s 2016 Darley Classic but believes his consistent four-year-old is worthy of a shot at the big time.
The $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m), run down the famous Flemington straight on Emirates Stakes Day to close out the Melbourne Cup Carnival, has been a long time target for Heys and his son of Thorn Park.
“We haven’t dared to dream yet, I just wanted him to justify that he is worthy of being in the race,” Heys, a former foreman for John O’Shea, told Racing Victoria.
Originally the race was expected to feature Chautauqua, but even with that champion out spelling, Heys still rates the depth of the Darley Classic field this weekend.
“We’ve been preparing for the race expecting Chautauqua to be here and I was under no illusion we would be able to beat him, but it would have told us where we sit in the pecking order,” he said.
“That is why this race has interested me, it will give us the best guide to where we sit for the future.
“Now that Chautauqua isn’t around, it doesn’t mean that the race is any easier.
“People are saying it is weaker field than previous years but I think it is quite strong and will be a genuine test for everyone.”
His horse is only lightly-raced, Spieth having enjoyed five wins and a second from eight career starts to date.
He was last seen posting his fourth straight win first-up at Randwick on October 15 in the Listed Tatt’s Lightning (1100m), the smart effort earning him a shot at the Darley Classic over last weekend’s Group 2 Salinger Stakes on Derby Day.
The Lightning was his first start since a Flemington win over the same meters back in late June.
The Darley is Spieth’s second run at the course and he brings into the race a top 1200m record of two wins and a second from four starts.
Heys ran him at Flemington in the winter already eyeing a potential Darley Classic run, a plan that comes to fruition this weekend.
The trainer also admits he is also already looking ahead to the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the autumn.
The latest Darley Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are a wide open affair with six of the 12 runners under $10 for the win including Spieth ($9.50).
Brad Rawiller jumps aboard for the ride and instructions from Heys will be to get early cover and put himself into the race late with the sharp turn of foot.
“We need to ensure we get the first third of the race done right and then we know what the horse can produce late,” he said.
“He needs to get a cover, he needs to be smothered away and then we will see what can happen.”
To back Spieth in Darley Classic betting for a Win or Place, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now who have Our Boy Malachi as the firming $4.60 favourite.
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