Rising sprinting star Heatherly is among the huge nominations for the 2016 Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Melbourne Racing Club has received thirty-one nominations for the Club’s feature sprint of the Autumn Carnival with the Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Heatherly being installed the early favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au at $4.80.
Heatherly earned her spot at the top of the market order after completing a hat trick of wins with an all the way five and half lengths victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 13.
“Three year old fillies haven’t got a bad record in it (Oakleigh Plate), all being well that is the way she will head,” Ellerton said.
The Ellerton and Zahra training combination has also entered restricted galloper Trevinder who is way down in the order of entry and will struggle to gain a start in the final eighteen horse field.
Leading trainer Darren Weir has only one entrant for the Oakleigh Plate in former West Australian trained Black Heart Bart who will be having his first start for the Melbourne Cup winning trainer.
Black Heart Bart will be heading to the races for the first time since running second to Delicacy in the Group 2 $250,000 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on December 19, during the 2015 Perth Summer Carnival.
Co-trainers Peter And Paul Snowden have a strong representation with their two smart sprinters Bounding and Dothraki.
Bounding was a winner over the same course and distance as the Oakleigh Plate in the early part of the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival when she won the Group 3 $150,000 theshark.com.au Stakes and has been primed for a bold first performance with an 837m Randwick barrier trial barrier win on February 19.
Dothraki also performed well during the Spring Carnival with a third to Eclair Choice in the Group 2 $300,000 tabcomau Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 31 and the five year old Mossman gelding also will head to Caulfield after winning a 900m Rosehill barrier trial on February 15.
Peter Moody has nominated three for the Oakleigh Plate, Group 1 winner Flamberge, the well performed Bring Me The Maid and his promising three year old Kinglike.
The Lindsay Park Team of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have a entered Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Gregers and Keen Array.
Prolific Canberra trained winner Fell Swoop is a winner of eight of his ten race starts but will find the Oakleigh Plate a much harder contest than his last start win in the Listed $120,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on September 19.
Early market order for the Oakleigh Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Heatherly, $6.50 Bounding, $7 Keen Array, $9 Fell Swoop, $11 Secret Agenda, $12 Headwater, $15 Black Heart Bart, Dothraki, Fast ‘N’ Rocking, $17 Flamberge, Vezalay, $21 Gregers, Lord Of The Sky, The Quarterback