Carlyon Stakes favourite Heatherly is not a certain starter at Moonee Valley on Saturday if the predicted rain on Friday takes the track in the heavy range.
Heatherly has been installed the $3.60 top pick with Ladbrokes.com.au for her return to the race track in the Listed $120,000 1PRINT Carlyon Stakes (1000m) but a heavy rated track could see her 2016 Spring Carnival debut delayed.
The Moonee Valley track is rated a soft 5 on Wednesday but if the rain predicted by the Bureau Of Meteorology arrives as forecast on Friday, it could be pushed up into the heavy category.
Co-trainer Simon Zahra said if that happened he would seriously consider scratching the Group 2 winning mare but will wait until Saturday morning before making a final decision.
“If we get the kind of rain they are predicting and the track was to come up a heavy 9 or heavy 10 then we’d have to work that out on the day,” Zahra told racing.com.
“We don’t want to be giving her a gut-buster first-up so we’ll just see what happens in the next few days.”
The front running Heatherly raced in outstanding form during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival earlier in the year and after scoring a stunning all the way five and half lengths win in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 13, set the pace before again before running third to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield a fortnight later.
Damian Lane has been engaged to ride Heatherly in the Carlyon Stakes, replacing Katelyn Mallyon and the four year old mare has drawn okay at barrier six.
Number one saddle cloth holder Shiraz holds down second spot in the market order at $6 and has drawn nicely at barrier three with Luke Currie taking the ride.
The Tony McEvoy trained Shiraz has a good fresh record and is having his first run back since running tenth to Chautauqua in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2.
On the third line of betting at $6.50 is last start winner Wild Rain with Damien Oliver sticking with her after the pair combined to win the Group 3 $150,000 Food Services Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 16.
The Mark Kavanagh trained mare has drawn awkwardly at thirteen in the fifteen horse field plus one emergency, giving Oliver plenty to do in the early and middle stages.
The only other runner under double figures is the Lindsay Park trained Keen Array at $7.50 with Craig Williams in the saddle.
Keen Array is also having his first run back from a spell after finishing third in a $100,000 1200m three year old Plate at Moonee Valley on March 24 but will have plenty of work to do from barrier fifteen.
Carlyon Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Heatherly, $6 Shiraz, $6.50 Wild Rain, $7.50 Keen Array, $11 Viddora, $12 Atmospherical, $14 Passing Shot, Diamond Oasis, $17 O’Malley, $20 Iconic, $26 Beau Rada, $34 General Truce, $41 Well Sprung, $61 Pretty Possum, $81 Sunday Escape, $91 Manihi Mischief.