A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Two weeks on from running sixth in the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes at Flemington, five-year old mare Savanna Amour return to the races tomorrow to contest the Group 3 Heffernan Stakes at Sandown.
Second up, Chris Meagher’s hopeful opened at $6.50 odds with Ladbrokes but has since drifted out to $8.50 behind the favourite Missrock and second-elect Quilista.
Faithful jockey Ben Melham will once again take the ride, who despite riding Savanna Amour to a win at Group 3 level last year, sounded a little unconvinced when asked on her chances stepping up to the 1300m trip.
“She’s been racing well enough, she’s just developed a bit of a habit where she’s become a little bit timid with inside runners, which she never used to do” Melham told RSN on Friday morning.
Melham’s last win came close to a month ago at Moonee Valley where he rode Stars of Carrum to a memorable win in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase.
He also saddled up Savanna Amour during her disappointing start in the Linlithgow, but thinks the decision to race with a visor on Saturday should help keep her focused.
“We’ve put the visor on her for the first time and she’s drawn out which will really suit her” Melham went on to say.
Savanna Amour has raced over 1300m only twice in her career, most recently in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) finishing fourth earlier in June.
As far as the Heffernan is concerned, she maps to sit midfield alongside Missrock, which should open up some wide opportunities out wide from barrier 10.
“She’s got the class, no doubt, she drops back significantly in class, if she turns up and performs at her best, she’ll be very hard to beat” Melham said when asked on Savanna Amour’s chances.
“She just hasn’t been quite racing as genuinely as what she did last preparation, so hopefully the visor can rectify that.”
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.