Moonee Valley specialist Heatherly has drawn in close at barrier two in the Listed $120,000 SAJ Fruit Supply Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on Saturday.
The Carlyon Stakes has drawn together a smart field of thirteen sprinters and Heatherly is certain to take up a prominent position from the handy draw for jockey Damian Lane.
The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Heatherly has been to The Valley on six occasions for three wins, a second and two thirds, and that will be to her advantage in the Carlyon Stakes on the tight turning track.
Heatherly will be having her first run back following a luckless performance on a heavy track when eighth to Russian Revolution in the Group 1 $700,000 Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 18.
The Lonhro mare has pleased the stable in her preparation for her return to the race track and was impressive in a hit out at The Valley on Tuesday morning.
“She breezed over half-a-mile (800m) and quickened up the last bit,” Ellerton told AAP.
“She’s had a pretty good prep and touch wood her barrier manners have been pretty good.
“She always has those two trials before she resumes.
“While she wasn’t great in the gates, she wasn’t as bad as she could be.
“On her best behaviour she’ll be hard to beat.
“She’s wound up enough and the run will improve her but she’s got the miles in the legs for Saturday.
“The Moir is the target so we’ll pick our way there. She’s restricted to short courses and hopefully we can get to the Moir in one piece.”
Heatherly likes to race on the pace but she is not going to get it all her own way up front in the Carlyon Stakes with the Group 1 placed Jungle Edge, Sunday Escape and Prussian Vixen all on pace runners.
The Mick Bell trained Jungle Edge runs his best races on rain affected tracks and has drawn barrier nine with regular jockey Kevin Forrester in the saddle again.
Dwayne Dunn will partner Sunday Escape again after the pair combined for a last start win down the Flemington straight in a 1000m BenchMark 90 Handicap on August 12 but the seven year old will have to do plenty of work from the outside barrier in the Carlyon Stakes.
Prussian Vixen has also drawn wide and will come out of gate twelve with Jake Noonan in the saddle again.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir will have two runners in the Carlyon Stakes, Winx’s half brother El Divino and the promising sprinter Speedeor.
Micheal Dee gets the ride on El Divino who has drawn barrier six while Luke Nolen has retained the ride on Speedeor (barrier 7) after the pair scored a hat trick of wins from their last three starts together.