Excess Funds tackles the $100,00 Listed Lightning Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday. Picture: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos
Excess Funds tackles the $100,00 Listed Lightning Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday. Picture: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos

Kavanagh hoping to cash in on Funds’ Lightning mission

LEVI Kavanagh is hoping the Listed Lightning Stakes can provide the platform to a successful spring campaign for promising colt Excess Funds.

A weight advantage and impressive first-up win at Sandown has the two-year-old on the third line of betting for the $100,000 feature at $7 with Ladbrokes where Group 1 Goodwood runner-up Behemoth is marked a $2.70 favourite.

Kavanagh, who managed his father Mark's Adelaide stable before moving back to Melbourne, said Excess Funds always showed plenty of talent.

He finished fourth behind Golden Slipper runner-up and subsequent Group 1 winner Microphone on debut in the Talindert Stakes at Flemington back in February.

"I always thought he'd be better in his next preparation, the one we're in now,'' Kavanagh said.

"I wanted to give him a look down the straight, he trialled and beat a few of those horses so I had to give him a crack.

"He got a bit wayward, showed signs of immaturity late in the run and pulled-up shin sore and went to the paddock.

"He's actually probably much better than what he showed in that race,'' he said.

Behemoth will start favourite in the Lightning. Picture: Quentin LanGE/AAP
Behemoth will start favourite in the Lightning. Picture: Quentin LanGE/AAP

Kavanagh said there were plenty of hurdles for Excess Funds to overcome on Saturday.

"It's a big step for him against the older horses,'' Kavanagh added.

"First trip away, third start and there are some pretty good form horses in the race, horses that have done more than him.

"But with the weight advantage it's a good stepping stone for him,'' he said.

Kavanagh said he made a conscious effort to get the horse back and rolling before the end of his two-year-old season in hope of elevating his rating so he can then pinpoint races later in the year.

"That (debut) gave me confidence to start him off at Sandown, rather than maiden,'' Kavanagh added.

"I've got a plan to follow, but he's a young horse and I'm just going to go race by race.

"Depending how he goes, I've got him back earlier to try and build his rating and get some runs on the board while he's a two-year-old, that's what appealed to me about this race.

"Late in the spring there are a couple of races I've got my eye on but we'll just have to see how he goes and where his rating gets to,'' he said.

Kavanagh will be hoping to join father Mark on the Lightning Stakes honour roll after he won the 2014 edition with Wild Rain.

But the betting has been all one-way traffic.

"Behemoth ($2/.90-$2.70) is the only horse punters want and is currently making up for half our hold on the race,'' Ladbrokes Tom Hackett said.