Jessy Belle has been allocated the top weight of 60 kilograms for the Vintage Crop Handicap (1400m), but trainer Luke Oliver is happy with his decision to keep regular jockey Chris Symons on board the talented filly for the $80,000 race that will be held at Flemington tomorrow.
Oliver had the opportunity to use one of the many claiming apprentice jockeys currently plying their trade in Victoria, as he did when Josh Cartwright partnered Jessy Belle in the Eurozone Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on June 21, but he told Racing Ahead that he believes Symons has developed a strong connection with the daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar after partnering the filly to three of her four race wins.
“She has a bit of weight to carry, but I guess that she has deserved that with her performances over the last 12 months,” Oliver said.
“She is in great form and I am excited to take her back to the races tomorrow.
“She is such a genuine horse and Chris gets long really well with her and knows how to get the best out of her.
“That is why we have elected to go with him rather than claim even though we have got that big weight.”
Jessy Belle will be joined in the Vintage Crop Handicap field by stablemate Davarick and Oliver is confident that the Keep A Faith filly will produce an improved effort when she returns to metropolitan racing in the Vintage Crop Handicap.
Davarick tired in the final stages of the Rivette Series (1600m) at Cranbourne on June 22 to finish fifth, but Oliver said that the form coming out of that race has been strong.
“I think that we will see an improved run from her on a firmer surface,” Oliver said.
“We have always known from her work and her trials that the firmer the surface the better she goes.
“Her run at Cranbourne wasn’t that bad and three of the horses that beat her home that day ran 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Rivette Series Final the other day, so it was a pretty strong race at Cranbourne.
“I think back to the 1400 on a firmer surface, she will run well.”
Jessy Belle is currently on top of 2014 Vintage Crop Handicap betting markets at a quote of $2, while Davarick is available at odds of $10.