Honkytonk Diva set for bold second-up effort

Eagle Farm trainer Kelly Schweida is expecting further improvement from Honkytonk Diva in the filly's second career start at Doomben on Saturday afternoon.

The Under The Louvre two-year-old put in an encouraging effort on debut earlier this month, beaten just over a length to Heroic Son – trained by the Hulbert team – after getting back in the field through the middle stages over 1050 metres.

After being sixth on the turn, Honkytonk Diva found a path through the field with experienced hoop Jim Byrne and hit the line nicely.

The chestnut will have her second career outing on Saturday, drawing barrier five over 1100 metres in the $125,000 2YO Plate on Saturday.

"The two-year-old filly, Honkytonk Diva, ran good the other day, ran second," Kelly Schweida said at Kilcoy on Monday morning following a jump-out.

"Honkytonk Diva will run well."

After riding the Schweida filly first-up, top jockey Byrne will stick with Desleigh Forster's Exo Lady, who he won on seven days later, for Saturday's assignment.

After riding a winner at Ipswich on Wednesday afternoon, Stephanie Thornton has been booked for Honkytonk Diva's second race day appearance.

"She has only had the one start and ran second the other day in the first two-year-old race in Brisbane," Schweida said of his filly.

"She got back and got to the line good.

"She has not done much since then, she has just been ticking over with babies you do not have to do too much with them but she had a good hit-out on Tuesday morning ahead of Saturday."

Schweida says the stable does not have big numbers for Saturday racing at this time of year, with Honkytonk Diva to be joined by stable-mate Montenegro Man at Doomben – who will target the Class 6 Handicap over 1200 metres and also be ridden by Thornton.

Schweida, who has prepared 13 winners so far this season, will also have Never Paid going around at the Gold Coast on Saturday, with stable rider Less Tilley in the saddle.


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