Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy is hopeful that Happy Hannah will find luck in transit in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) on Saturday, after drawing into the Flemington race in barrier 17.
Happy Hannah has been a strong and consistent performer for Peter & Paul Snowden since making her competitive debut during the 2015 Spring Carnival; posting two wins and a further four minors through only nine starts.
Josh Parr partnered the daughter of More Than Ready to sixth in the Hyland Race Colours BM85 (1400m) first-up this time on September 24th, and the mare has since run third in each of the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) and Capital Bluestone BM84 (1600m) with Brenton Avdulla and Parr in the saddle respectively.
Having trialled the mare in the lead-up to her return this time, McEvoy is pleased to be aboard the four-year-old for her run in the Matriarch Stakes, but conceded she will need plenty to go her way from the wide barrier.
“I haven’t ridden her this campaign in a race, but she’s a filly I got to know well enough last preparation,” McEvoy told Racing Ahead.
“She’s a handy filly in her own right. I haven’t had a good look through the race yet in terms of where I’ll be, but she’s drawn awkwardly in barrier 17.
“I’m going to have to nut that out with the Snowden crew and see whether we can pull that off.”
Happy Hannah trialled well in the lead-up to her racing debut, but made only one appearance for sixth in a Warwick Farm minor over 1100m in 2015.
Resuming this year for second in the Newcastle Basketball Maiden Plate (1300m), Happy Hannah broke through for a maiden race win in the Windsor RSL Club Limited Plate (1600m) before repeating the dose in the All Too Hard Plate (1600m) on March 9th.
Making a strong transition to black type company when third in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), Happy Hannah was returned to the paddock after failing to fire and thirteenth in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
Charged with carrying only 55kgs, Happy Hannah will face the likes of Real Love, Zanbagh and Rising Romance in the Matriarch Stakes.
Happy Hannah is currently available at 2016 Matriarch Stakes odds of $9.50 with Ladbrokes Australia.