Jockey Katelyn Mallyon has a great chance to record her first Group 1 victory when she rides Heatherly in the $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The in-form Heatherly is currently the $4.80 second favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Oakleigh Plate on the back of a sensational five and a half lengths all the win in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 13.
That was the Lonhro filly’s third win on the trot after a victory in a 1000m BenchMark 78 Handicap at Moonee Valley on January followed by a narrow win in the a three year old fillies Plate over 1100m down the Flemington straight on January 30 when ridden by Damian Lane.
The lightweight Mallyon took over from Lane to secure the Rubiton Stakes win with 51kg and with only 50kg in the Oakleigh Plate, Mallyon gets her chance to claim her first taste of Group 1 glory.
“I’m confident the horse is going to go in with a huge chance,” Mallyon told racing.com.
“Especially off her last effort and dropping a kilo in the Oakleigh Plate, it’s going to be a huge advantage.
“I’m sure that she’s going to begin well and put herself there and with 50kg I’m sure she’ll be hard to catch.
“She’s a flying machine and hopefully she puts her best foot forward.”
Mallyon has spent all week monitoring her weight and is confident that she will have no trouble riding comfortably at 50kg.
This week has been a little bit light on rides – on purpose – I just wanted to get my weight down properly,” Mallyon said.
“She’s got 50kg and I’m doing it quite comfortably.
“Not having to have a sweat means I can get to Saturday and be nice and strong and bright – it’s a huge advantage.
“I’m just preparing for the race, doing my form and I’m looking forward to it.”
Even though the Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Heatherly has won her last two starts from the front, Mallyon said that she won’t be pressured into leading again and will be happy to take a sit off the pace if some of the others want to go crazy in front.
“She is versatile and can sit off the speed also if they want to go too hard and I am not too concerned whether she is going to get pressured as I’m happy to sit off them if they are going to go too fast,” Mallyon said.
“It’s a very fast high cruising speed and for others to sort of come with me will sort of hinder their chances.”
Heatherly has drawn beautifully at barrier two and Mallyon won’t have to spend a penny to have the filly in or near the lead in the early charge from the gates.
The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Keen Array holds a slight advantage over Heatherly in the market order and is the ruling favourite at $4.60 while the Team Snowden trained Bounding is the only other runner under double figures at $6.
Oakleigh Plate market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Keen Array, $4.80 Heatherly, $6 Bounding, $12 Secret Agenda, Fell Swoop, $15 The Quarterback, $16 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Headwater, $21 Gregers, $26 Atmospherical, Lord Of The Sky, Pittsburgh Flyer, Reldas, Flamberge, $31 Vezalay, Griante, $34 Dothraki, Smokin’ Joey, Kuro, Eclair Choice $101 Swinging Arms.