Heathcote puts health scare behind him

Robert Heathcote
Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote has overcome a health scare in quick time and is back working.

Eagle Farm trainer Robert Heathcote has quickly put a health scare behind him and is back supervising track work and barrier trials.

Heathcote was back at work on Tuesday morning after undergoing heart surgery on Saturday.

“Medicine these days is amazing. I had a stent put in four days ago but here I am and I feel terrific,” Heathcote said.

“I was short of breath at Doomben last Thursday and went to see my doctor who sent me for some tests.

“Before I knew it I was on the operating table. It is a case for all people to note – listen to your body.

“I felt something was wrong and did something about it. The good news is everything else is fine and working properly.

“But I have avoided a possible heart attack or stroke.”

Heathcote has had one of his best seasons and has felt new interest in recent months.

“I had more air in my tyres and the results have been there,” he said.

After track work, Heathcote was on hand at Doomben to see unbeaten two-year-old Rothfire win a barrier trial ahead of his return.

Rothfire, who has raced twice, ran 50.18s which was a second quicker than the next fastest two-year-old heat over 840m.

Robbie Fradd, who is Rothfire’s regular rider, made the trip from the Gold Coast to ride the gelding and gave him an easy time in the final 100m.

“That was what he needed and he will press on to The Jewel 2YO Prelude at Doomben on February 29 and then The Jewel” Heathcote said.

The $500,000 race at the Gold Coast on March 14 is a new addition to the Queensland calendar.

More immediately, he will saddle the reinvigorated Cool Chap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Cool Chap broke a two-year winning drought at Eagle Farm last Saturday week and Heathcote is confident the gelding can back it up in the Open Handicap (1800m).

“The 1800 metres is ideal for him at this stage of his campaign. I really like him on Saturday provided he draws a half decent barrier,” Heathcote said.

He has also nominated Our Mantra for the same race but the gelding may instead start in a restricted class event.