Holly Locke heads to Belmont on Saturday full of hope she can cause a boil over in the Belmont Oaks (2000m) and she couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.
Noted as a trainer of tried horses, Locke was able to pick-up unraced filly Heaven’s Gift from leading owner-breeder Bob Peters in an on-line auction sale.
After a series of trials for co-trainers Grant and Alana Williams, Heaven’s Gift was bought for $6000, an astute buy after she has progressed to win her opening two races at Pinjarra.
Operating a small team of horses from her base in Bunbury, Locke said Heaven’s Gift, a daughter of Not A Single Doubt, is an exciting addition to her stable.
“She is like a Rolls Royce compared to a Datsun 120Y that I normally have,” Locke told The Races WA.
“I still love my oldies, but it’s like doing art work on a fresh canvas, rather than try and patch up tried horses.
“She was delivered from Grant and Alana Williams in amazing order and I pretty much just had to hit the go button.
“There are no issues with her, I just think Bob (Peters) likes to have his A team and she was not part of that.”
Heaven’s Gift faces a giant task to upset gun filly Kay Cee in the Belmont Oaks, but Locke believes she is capable of filling a placing.
Kay Cee, prepared by Neville Parnham, is unbeaten this campaign and opened a hot favourite with TABtouch installing her at $1.70.
After winning the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in December, the Playing God filly has won the Raconteur Stakes-Belmont Guineas double.
Locke is under no illusion to the task that confronts Heaven’s Gift, but says she goes into the race with a filly in winning form.
On debut she finished strongly to defeat Hoolahoops by a half-head and then produced a similar when stepping up to the mile.
“She is in form and is only a three-year-old for another month,” Locke said.
“She is also a mudlark, so we may as well have a go in the wet, we are not to know if she goes on a good track.
“She is flying and has improved and pulled up well again on her last run.
“If we can get her stakes placed as a three-year-old it will be a pretty good going.”
Heaven’s Gift has drawn barrier five for jockey Jarrad Noske. She is rated $23 chance.