Heatherly returns with speedy Valley win

MELBOURNE Aug 20 2016

Highly talented sprinter Heatherly has shown her liking for the Moonee Valley circuit by outspeeding her rivals to register a first-up victory.

The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained mare was having her first run since February in taking out the Listed Carlyon Stakes on Saturday.

Ridden by Damian Lane, Heatherly was backed from $3.40 into $2.90 favouritism before scoring a half-length win over Viddora ($5.50) with O'Malley ($9.50) a length away third.

Heatherly will return to Moonee Valley on September 3 for the Group Two McEwen Stakes over 1000m before her main target, the Group One Moir Stakes on September 30.

Ellerton and Zahra held concerns over the heavy rain that fell on Friday but when the track was posted in the slow range on Saturday morning decided to run.

"We were committed to run unless it was heavy," Ellerton said.

"She'll improve with racing. She had a nice long spell from the autumn to spring and the continuity of racing will bring her right on.

"She'll be back here in a fortnight and fingers crossed three weeks later she'll be back here for the Group One."

Ellerton said Heatherly had been a bit restless in the barriers but seemed to pace herself well in the run.

He said Heatherly's best attribute was her ability to race on the speed and he thinks she'll be in for a good campaign.

"Once she's fit you can utalise that speed," Ellerton said.

"Damien held her together today and I'm not sure whether that's the best way to ride her, anyway she got through it today."

Lane said he held some minor concerns during the race before the mare sprinted clear before the turn.

"She went a bit too keen for my liking but her quality came through," he said.

Craig Brennan - AAP

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