Talented mare Heatherly has returned to racing for a smart win in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse this afternoon.
Heatherly remained on the top lines of Carlyon Stakes betting since being confirmed in the race’s field on Wednesday, and the mare immediately placed herself in the race after jumping well from a good draw.
Sitting on the heels of Passing Shot over the back straight, jockey Damian Lane allowed Heatherly to press forward and take up the pace rounding onto the final straight; a decision that would prove pivotal when she maintained a strong-enough sprint to beat a fast finishing Viddora to the line.
Lane’s ride was arguably the difference in success this afternoon, but the hoop was quick to lay all the praise on the quality of the mare in winning the Carlyon Stakes 2016.
“She’s a high-class filly and trialled well leading in,” Lane said.
“I thought she might be a bit vulnerable fresh just before I knew she’d go keen and she might be a tough soft late, and she did both of those things but luckily enough she was too good.
“She’s all class and I think in starts to come with a bit of freshness out of her, if something wants to go quick I can sit at its girth and things like this.
“For now, it’s good to get the win on the board and I think she’s got better things in store.”
Co-trainer Mathew Ellerton was on hand for Heatherly’s win in the Carlyon Stakes and underlined the Group 1 Moir Stakes over course and distance as her hopeful major target this time.
“She’s a bit fidgety in the gates and she probably paced herself ok, but she was good enough to get away with it and was out on her feet late,” Ellerton said.
“I think she’ll improve with racing, that’s for sure. She had a nice, long spell autumn to spring and continuity of racing will bring her right on.
“She’ll be back here in a fortnight and then fingers crossed, three weeks later into the Group 1 here.
“She’ll know she’s around then but anyway, that’s the plan.”
In taking out the 2016 Carlyon Stakes, Heatherly has posted five wins and four minors through only ten career starts.