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The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra partnership has continued its winning form with another victory Moonee Valley.

The pair saddled four winners at the Flemington New Year’s day meeting, including Durendal in the feature, the Standish Handicap.



Heatherly added to the long weekend’s haul, winning Saturday’s Slickpix Hcp (1000m).

Despite a betting drift from $1.90 to $2.30, Heatherly kicked clear to score by three lengths from Conspicuous Maid ($11) with Certain Ellie ($26) a half-length away third.

Punters were given a pre-race scare when Heatherly underwent a veterinary examination after being loaded in the gates.

“She was getting really impatient and leaning on the side,” jockey Damian Lane said.

“She lifted her leg up and put it on the side and came out to be vetted.”

Lane partnered two of the Ellerton/Zahra winners at Flemington and said a lot of work had gone into getting Heatherly to settle in her races.

“Even though she was going quick she was doing it within herself today,” Lane said.

“She’s got the scope to win better races now that she can settle.”

Zahra said the win had relieved some pressure and the filly was likely to be freshened before targeting better autumn races.

“(Owners) Barrie and Midge (Griffiths) know the long term goal but when they say she’s a money muncher, you get more determined to prove that she’s not, and the real deal was there today,” Zahra said.

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