Howmuchdoyouloveme has been included in the 2014 W.J. Healy Stakes field and has the chance to become the first horse in history to win the Group 3 event in back-to-back years.
Howmuchdoyouloveme overcame the outside gate and the top weight of 60 kilograms to record a brave all the way victory in last year’s W.J. Healy Stakes, but has been unable to return to winning form in six subsequent starts.
The Written Tycoon gelding finished his winter campaign last year with a disappointing fifth in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 10 and had a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock before returning to the races with a second place finish behind Knoydart in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1100m) on January 24.
Howmuchdoyouloveme suffered from heat stress when he beat home just a single runner in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 8 and he produced fair performances when stepped-up in trip for the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 and the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
The five-year-old started his 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 and finished a fair seventh, but should relish the step-up t0 1200 metres this weekend.
Howmuchdoyouloveme will need to be at his best to win the Healy Stakes for the second year in a row; with a number of talented sprinters included in the final field for the Group 3 event.
Cape Kidnappers scored impressive victories in both the Listed Chief De Beer Quality (1100m) and the Lightning Handicap and is set to make his debut at Group level in the W.J. Healy Stakes, but trainer Kelly Schweida admits that he is worried by the firmness of the Eagle Farm track.
The rising seven-year-old has been plagued by injuries throughout his racing career, but will start a clear favourite if he takes his place in the 2014 Healy Stakes field.
Leading jockey Tommy Berry has been booked to return to Australia to ride Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) and will also take the ride on Bennetta in the Healy Stakes.
Bennetta has been a consistent performer at Group level throughout her racing career and started her 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign with a fast-finishing third in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.
The W.J. Healy Stakes field also includes Excellantes (barrier seven), Adebisi (barrier two), Facile Tigre (barrier nine), Rocky King (barrier five), Seeking More (barrier one), Metallurgical (barrier four) and Big Money (barrier ten).