A Lotta Love for Leilani Series Final at Flemington

By: Lucy Henderson
July 6th, 2016

Flemington’s Finals Day runs in Melbourne on the weekend and Mornington trainer Sam Pritchard-Gordon is confident of success in the card closer with A Lotta Love lining-up in the Leilani Series Final.

A Lotta Love (inside)

Group 3 performed mare A Lotta Love (inside) looks well placed in Saturday’s Leilani Series Final at Flemington. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The $120,000 Leilani Series Final (1400m) runs as Flemington Race 9 and finishes the stellar program headlined by four Black-Type finals.

Eleven mares are in the mix including Pritchard-Gordon’s in-form Al Maher four-year-old A Lotta Love.

She has run top three in her three most recent runs including her third behind Runway Star in Adelaide on May 21 in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m).

Backing-up from that she crossed under a length back for second behind Forgeress on June 4 in a mares-only handicap over 1300m at Sandown-Hillside in the wet before a Caulfield win over 1200m last Saturday.

A Lotta Love is on the quick seven day turnaround, but Pritchard-Gordon is confident she can handle racing on successive Saturdays and always had the race in mind.

“That’s been the plan. She seems to back up well,” he told AAP.

“When she ran third in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes in Adelaide she backed up in that race, and I left room for improvement from her run at Caulfield to run her over 1400 metres at Flemington where she is a course and distance winner.

“It’s been a bit of a game plan over the past couple of months and at this stage she seems to be ticking all the boxes.”

The mare, a $10,000 bargain buy as a yearling who has now won over $240,000 in prize money, boasts an outstanding record over the 1400m.

From five previous runs she has enjoyed three wins and a second over the distance she should relish getting back out over on the weekend.

“She’s really come into her own,” Pritchard-Gordon said.

“She’s a filly that we didn’t buy for very much as a yearling and we didn’t really ask anything of her as a two-year-old.

“She showed something as a three-year-old and has kept on improving.

“She keeps on showing up and I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of her yet. I still think there’s nice improvement to come as she continues to mature.”

Patrick Moloney replaces apprentice Dylan Dunn in the saddle, Dunn using his claim to drop A Lotta Love’s winning weight down to 55kg last Saturday.

She gets a similar barrier draw in nine this weekend and also drops a further kilo getting in on the 54kg minimum for the Leilani Series Final.

Also working to her advantage is the current Heavy (8) track rating at Flemington, the proven mudlark having won two-from-three on Soft going and placed second in her only Heavy start to date.

“She’s as tough as nails and she loves what she does,” Pritchard-Gordon added.

Pritchard-Gordon also saddles-up Bouffon in the $120,000 Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) on Saturday.

The lightly-raced Bel Esprit two-year-old has just his second run after a sixth on debut in the wet at Bendigo on June 23.

He did it tough from barrier 14 of 14 that run and is drawn wide again on the weekend with barrier 13 (of 14) in a field that features young talent like the John O’Shea-trained Trenchant who gets the inside run from gate one.

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