Connections of last Saturday’s impressive Flemington winner Weatherly won’t pay a $55,000 late entry fee to run in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Instead trainer Paul Messara will head back to Sydney to try and cement a place in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19 for the Beneteau colt.
Weatherly was only having his second race start last Saturday and even though he was slow to leave the barriers for the second time, he was still able to record a one and a half lengths win down the grandstand side in the Listed $120,000 Talindert Stakes (1100m).
Weatherly would have been among the top fancies for the Blue Diamond Stakes on that performance, but Messara and the owners are reluctant to back up the flashy bay colt in a week and set their sights on the Golden Slipper Stakes.
“Neither the owner or myself is keen to pay the late entry fee and back up into the Blue Diamond next Saturday so we will wait with him,” Messara told Racenet.
“We want to look after him and will aim towards the Golden Slipper (Stakes).
“Getting there will be the tricky part with prizemoney deciding it so we’ll look at the options and work out where we go next.”
The Group 2 $300,000 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 5, a fortnight before the Golden Slipper Stakes is a good option, although it is shaping as a mini Golden Slipper with several of the top fancies set to go around, including favourite Capitalist, stablemate Defcon and last Saturday’s impressive Silver Slipper Stakes winner Astern.
Messara has put a great rapt on Weatherly for a long time and rates him better than his sire Beneteau who ran third in the 2010 Blue Diamond Stakes and stood at Arrowfield Stud before an untimely death in 2013.
“I think he is faster than Beneteau at the same stage,” Messara said.
“It was pretty impressive.”
“He’s pretty much untapped at the moment so it’s pretty exciting going forward.”
Weatherly is currently quoted at $17 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Golden Slipper Stakes with the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Capitalist the ruling favourite at $$3.80.
Also high up in the betting is the Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Extreme Choice at $8 and last Saturday’s Silver Slipper Stakes winner Astern at $11 ahead of Honesty Prevails at $13, Telperion at $15 and Scarlet Rain and Yankee Rose also at $17.