Lightly raced mare Lonhspresso is on trial for a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign if she can redeem herself in the Listed $120,000 The Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir is willing to forgive Lonhspresso for her first up fourth as favourite in the $80,000 All Victorian Sprint Series Heat 2 (1100m) at Flemington on May 10 and is looking forward to some feature racing in Brisbane in the next month.
The Lonhro mare pulled up slightly lame in the off foreleg at her first run since November but Weir has given her the all clear and expects her to run well and stake her claim for a return to Group company.
“She pulled up a bit scratchy out of that run but she seems to be good now,” Weir told Racing Victoria News.
“She galloped on Tuesday and she went well.
“We were happy with her (going into her first up run) but fitness wise she should be a little bit better, she’s still got improvement in her yet.”
If Lonhspresso impresses Weir on Saturday he will consider taking her north for the feature fillies and mares races over the Eagle Farm section of the Winter Carnival, the Group 2 $200,000 VIRBAC Animal Health Australia Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 and the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 21.
“She’d want to go well on Saturday to consider taking her up there otherwise you wouldn’t bother,” Weir said.
Lonhspresso has only raced on nine occasions but has a Group 2 success on the board after winning the $250,000 Centrebet Classic (1200m) at Morphettville during last year’s Adelaide Autumn Carnival.
In-form jockey Michelle Payne will be having her first ride on the four year old, taking over from apprentice Harry Coffey, who was aboard when fourth to General Peekay who will be meeting Lonhspresso a half a kilo better at the weights in The Straight Six.
Payne is riding full of confidence and is coming off a winning double for trainer Ciaron Maher at Bendigo on Thursday with victories on Barkly Boy in the Maiden Plate over 1400m and on Akavoroun in the $30,000 BenchMark 78 Handicap over 1400m.
Lonhspresso has been installed the early $5 favourite for The Straight Six with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the topweight Riziz at $6, Adelaide sprinter Essay Raider at $6.50 and General Peekay at $7.50.
Weir will also saddle up Wangoom Handicap runner-up Blackie, a $13 chance, with Brad Rawiller to ride.
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