Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Saturday’s Kevin Hayes Stakes 2020 at Caulfield has drawn a small but classy field of potential Group 1 Surround Stakes-bound fillies as part of the C.F. Orr Stakes Day card.
Running as Race 2 at 1:10pm (AEDT), there are just nine three-year-old fillies in this season’s Group 3 $160,000 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m).
It will likely prove a key early autumn carnival lead-up into the Group 1 $500,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney later in the month.
Already co-trainer Natalie Young has confirmed the Surround Stakes on February 29 and later the Group 1 $1 million (2400m) on April 11 as elite level targets for the Australian Oaks stable’s Kevin Hayes Stakes filly Acting.
“She has won over 1200 metres before and she’s very sharp for a Savabeel,” Young, who trains in partnership with Trent Busuttin, told AAP this week.
“We’re kind of talking Oaks further down the track but she’s pretty sharp and I think she’ll run a really good race on Saturday.”
The daughter of Savabeel carries the 57.5kg topweight first-up in the Kevin Hayes Stakes field from barrier six with Acting having her first start since a brave fifth behind Flit in Caulfield’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) last October.
She won three on the trot while rising through the ranks prior to the Thousand Guineas including the Group 2 Prelude over 1400m.
After opening at a double-figure quote of $10 in the Kevin Hayes Stakes, Acting is the early market mover at Ladbrokes.com.au firming into $7.50 and is deserving of the money according to Young.
“She has trialled up super and this preparation, at home and on the track, she has shown that she’s just full of life,” she said.
“She has really filled out nicely.”
Kevin Hayes Stakes odds are firmly led by the $2.70 favourite How Womantic, the undefeated VOBIS Gold Carat winner obviously the one to beat in the eyes of Young.
“She [Acting] has got to beat How Womantic, who is unbeaten, but looking at the field there’s not a lot of speed in there,” she said.
“If she can jump and get a nice, soft lead it will really work in her favour.”
How Womantic is from the flying stables of Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, the daughter of The Wow Signal having won all three of her career-starts to date including her only previous Caulfield run.
It is a wide-open edition of the Kevin Hayes with a further four fillies under $10 for the win including the $5.50 second elect Southbank resuming for Anthony Freedman.
The Fastnet Rock filly ran second to Acting in the Prelude as a $51 roughie before her last start third in the Thousand Guineas blanket finish.
The rails-drawn Frondeur ($7) for Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr. is another unbeaten filly in the mix, Damien Oliver to ride the Kiwi-bred daughter of Roc De Cambes for her first Black-Type assignment at her third start.
Godolphin’s ultra-consistent Aquitaine ($9) and Team Snowden’s last start Canterbury winner Satin Socks ($9) round out the single-figure hopefuls.
2020 Kevin Hayes Stakes Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||71115x||ACTING (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||6||57.5kg||92|
|2||111||HOW WOMANTIC||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jye McNeil||2||56kg||75|
|3||24×1112||AQUITAINE||James Cummings||Damian Lane||3||56kg||75|
|4||06×1131||ENFLEURAGE||James Cummings||Craig Williams||8||56kg||73|
|5||5445×11||SCORE||John Sadler||Dwayne Dunn||9||56kg||68|
|6||7x1223x||SOUTHBANK||Anthony Freedman||Mark Zahra||7||55kg||86|
|7||3x1642x231||SATIN SOCKS||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tim Clark||5||55kg||68|
|8||318437x||DON’TTELLTHEBOSS||Robbie Griffiths||Luke Currie||4||55kg||65|
|9||1×1||FRONDEUR (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Damien Oliver||1||55kg||67|
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