Oakleigh Plate thoughts for Heatherly after Flemington win

Jan 30, 2016

Co-trainer Mathew Ellerton floated the idea of running Heatherly in next month’s Group I Oakleigh Plate after her win in Saturday’s Andrew Guy Handicap (1100m) at Flemington.

Ellerton has won the Oakleigh Plate twice with females, preparing Miss Kournikova to win as a three-year-old in 2001 before winning the 2003 edition of the Caulfield sprint with River Dove.

Ellerton said he and training partner Simon Zahra would consider giving Heatherly her chance in the Oakleigh Plate on February 27 after she led throughout to notch her second straight win.

Miss Kournikova made the same jump from a three-year-old fillies’ race to the Oakleigh Plate and Heatherly could have a chance to follow that path.

Heatherly drew the inside gate but jockey Damian Lane continually angled out past the middle of the track, looking for the best ground, before going for home on the daughter of Lonhro at the 250m.

Heatherly held off a late challenge but had a short half head in hand on the line as she recorded her third win from seven starts.

“She drew one and all she did was work, work, work until she got across to where she had to be,” Zahra said.

“They had the drop on her all the way but she was able to get a break on then but she got a bit lost late.

“It’s not easy to do that. It was a terrific win and we’ll have to have a look at stakes races again.

“She might be a nice Oakleigh Plate horse because she’s got that speed and it’s a handicap so she’ll have no weight. It’s worth thinking about.”

The $44,000 winner's cheque took Heatherly's stakes tally to more than $150,000.

Congratulations to Heatherly's terrific owners Barrie and Midge Griffiths and all involved with her great win.