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A harder than expected first-up run will keep talented mare Jessy Belle to 1200m at Caulfield.

Jessy Belle took longer to recover from her fifth placing off a freshen-up at Caulfield three weeks ago which has prompted trainer Luke Oliver to keep the mare for the Group Three How Now Stakes.

Oliver had been considering a start for the daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar in last week’s Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington.

On Saturday Jessy Belle, to be ridden by Damian Lane and a seven-time winner from 24 starts, will be opposed to the likes of Hazard, Wawail, Atlantis Dream, Griante, Politeness, Tycoon Tara and Vezelay.

Oliver said Jessy Belle received her share of buffeting in the Cockram Stakes.

“She’s picked up well but we didn’t want to rush her back to the races,” Oliver said.

“She galloped on the course proper on Tuesday morning and galloped well and seems to be on track for Saturday’s race.

“It’s the second wave of mare’s races that we’ll join into now and we’ll see where we can get to.”

Oliver said he would like to step Jessy Belle back up to 1400m at Flemington for the Blazer Stakes on October 4 at a track where she has a good record.

Jessy Belle ran sixth to Forever Loved in the corresponding race last year.

“Saturday’s race is biding time a bit at the 1200 metres,” Oliver said.

“We are after some black type with her this preparation, but we just want to keep her happy and sound and racing at her best.”

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