First starter Weatherly is the early market mover in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) for the colts and geldings at Caulfield tomorrow.
Weatherly joins the John O’Shea trained Cohesion at $4 at the top of the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au after opening up at $4.60 when betting started.
Trainer Paul Messara admits that Weatherly has surprised him in recent weeks and said that he has earned his chance to take on a handy field of two year olds in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview.
And a debut win would tempt Messara to pay a $55,000 late entry fee for the Beneteau colt to gain a place in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27.
“He’s still quite a raw horse that has a lot of learning to do but it has all come together very quickly for him,’ Messara told racing.com.
“He’s a beautiful horse, a big and strong type of two-year-old that’s a bit like his father Beneteau in that he’s very forward at the same age.
“We’re probably throwing him in the deep end, we could give him an easy kill in a maiden somewhere but the timing’s right, he’s drawn well and we’ll give him his chance.
“We can always pay the ($55,000 Blue Diamond late entry fee) if we need to and he looks like a real contender. If ran well on Tuesday then we’d head to the Prelude and make a decision after that.”
Weatherly has drawn the inside barrier in the thirteen horse field and has the experienced Craig Williams to guide him around Caulfield at his first race day outing.
“Craig Williams rode him in the trial and he said the horse gave him a lovely feel and every time he asked he just kept improving,” Messara said.
“He ran really nice time on the day and I know it’s only a barrier trial and you don’t get too excited about that type of thing but I like the way he did it and he should take great benefit from the experience itself.”
“He’s got good natural speed. He’s not a horse that I think will naturally drift back and fly home, I’d expect him to settle in a handy position.”
“I think it’s a benefit from barrier one to have the rail on his inside, I always think it’s good to have a rail to follow with two-year-olds and is worth a length or two particularly in a race like this with a lot of horses having their first start.”
Messara is currently based at Pinecliff on the Mornington Peninsula while the training track at his Scone base is being redeveloped and took Weatherly to Balnarring for a recent jumpout with Williams in the saddle.
Equal favourite Cohesion has the benefit of race experience with a fourth at his only start to Capitaist in the Listed $150,000 Newgate Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick last October.
The Lonhro colt was also an easy winner in an 800m barrier trial at Sandown on January 14 but has drawn awkwardly at barrier ten with Ben Melham to ride.
Blue Diamond Preview market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Weatherly, Cohesion, $4.40 Power Trip, $9 Dalradian, $12 El Venetian, $15 Bullion Wolf, Hay Bale, $16 Cha Chang, $17 Kafoo, $21 Capannello, $26 Quiet Order, $31 Moshway, $71 Magnarock.