Group 1 winners Under The Louvre, Lucky Hussler and Famous Seamus are among the fifteen nominations for the Group 3 $150,000 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on Saturday.
The Noel Mayfield-Smith trained Famous Seamus is looking for back to back wins in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes after taking out last year’s version and is back in winning form with his first win for almost twelve months last start in the Listed $125,000 Lander Toyota Ladies Day Cup (1400m) at Hawkesbury on Melbourne Cup Day.
Mayfield-Smith said that nothing has changed with the eight year old since he won the 2014 Group 1 $400,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben and he has a great chance to win the Kevin Heffernan Stakes again with Hugh Bowman having his first ride on the Group 1 winning sprinter.
“I’ve been chasing Hugh to ride for me for years and now I’ve got him,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“The only thing that has changed with this horse is that each year he’s got a year older.”
“His atttude is the same. His work is the same. His times are the same. Everything is the same.
“He looks the same as when he went into his last race and nothing has worried him since.”
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have listed Famous Seamus as a $17 chance to win back to back Kevin Heffernan Stakes while Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre sits at the top of the market order at $4.50.
Last start winner Illustrious Lad and the Darren Weir trained Lucky Hussler are next in the betting at $5.
The Robert Smerdon trained Under The Louvre is struggling to find the form that saw him win the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival this year and has only one placing from four Spring Carnival outings.
Under The Louvre recorded a first up second to the speedy Redzel in the Group 3 $150,000 The Resimax Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 27 and heads to Sandown on the back of a last start fifth to Rebel Dane in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21.
The Peter Gelagotis trained Illustrious Lad is racing in great form with two wins and a second from three Spring Carnival starts, including a last start win in the Group 2 $300,000 tab Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 29.
Lucky Hussler from the Darren Weir stable is another sprinter struggling to find winning form and hasn’t saluted since winning the $1m Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January with his latest outing resulting in a ninth to in Manikato Stakes.
Early market order for the Kevin Heffernan Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Under The Louvre, $5 Illustrious Lad, Lucky Hussler, $8 Faatinah, $9 Redkirk Warrior, $10 Super Cash, $11 Santa Ana Lane, $13 We’ve Got This, $17 Famous Seamus, $19 Almighty Girl, $21 Miss Promiscuity, $26 Durendal, $41 Burning Front, $51 Tried And Tired, $101 Un De Sceaux.