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Promising filly Montefilia will be having her first start as a three year on Saturday in an 1800m BenchMark 78 Handicap for the Fillies and Mares but trainer David Payne is thinking of a trip to Flemington in November for the Kennedy Oaks.

Hungry Heart, above in green colours, is the early favourite for the 2020 Kennedy Oaks at Flemington. Photo by Steve Hart.

Hungry Heart, above in green colours, is the early favourite for the 2020 Kennedy Oaks at Flemington. Photo by Steve Hart.

Montefilia was a two year old winner on debut at Newcastle in March and has had one run back from a spell for a third in a 1400m two year old Handicap on the Kensington Track at Randwick on July 18 and Payne believes the filly has the potential to handle the 2500m of the Group 1 $1m Kennedy Oaks on day three of the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“If you look at the way the track was playing, I think she was one of the best runs of the day,” Payne told AAP

“She can only improve on that run.

“She’s very smart. I’ve got quite a high opinion of her. Her long-term aim is the Oaks.”

“I just want to get her qualified and then I’ll give her a couple of weeks in the paddock and then program for that race, all going well.”

Seventeen fillies and mares have been nominated for the Saturday’s BenchMark 78 Handicap and Montefilia will be the only three year old filly in the race.

Trainer Chris Waller has three entries in Word For Word, Guise and Savigne while Gerald Ryan has nominated Zourhea and Peace Of Mind.

Early betting for the 2020 Kennedy Oakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Montefilia marked at $31 while the Chris Waller trained Hungry Heart has been installed as the $10 favourite.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.