Heathcote runners impress at Doomben trials

Robert Heathcote
Trainer Robert Heathcote has several runners on show at the Doomben trials on Tuesday. (AAP)

Rob Heathcote had a busy morning at the Doomben trials on Tuesday, saddling up 17 horses across the 21 heats.

The popular trainer had a number of two-year-olds step out, including Ekaterina, a filly by Russian Revolution out of a dam called Funtantes.

Heathcote trains Ekaterina’s half-sister Startantes, who recently placed in the Group 1 Surround Stakes in Sydney.

Ekaterina showed plenty of potential in the 840m 2YO Open trial, winning by three-quarters of a length in her first public appearance in what was the fastest two-year-old trial of the day.

Earlier in the morning, Heathcote’s three-year-old filly Rayjen had her first hit-out of the autumn, finishing third in a 1000m 3YO Open trial.

The daughter of So You Think has won two of her five starts, while she also boasts a half-length defeat to Group 1 winner Hinged back on July 10.

While no definite plans are set in stone for this promising middle-distance filly, Heathcote would like to see her raise the bar this preparation and potentially head towards the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m).

In Rayjen’s only real failure to date when finishing last in her most recent start, a post-race veterinary examination revealed the filly to be lame in the off hind leg, so she had clear excuses on that occasion and has clearly returned in good shape.

In the fourth trial of the morning, last year’s Group 3 BRC Sprint winner, Emerald Kingdom, proved too good over 1000m.

The son of Bryannbo’s Gift has not been seen at the races since dropping out at Randwick in the Filante Stakes on October 23.

Emerald Kingdom was issued a suspension after that run and was ordered to trial prior to racing again, so the two-length win would have been pleasing for Heathcote.

It is expected that the seven-year-old gelding will be targeting feature sprint races over the fast-approaching Brisbane Winter Carnival, while there are also some rumours that slot holders for Rockhampton’s new race, The Archer, have been in contact with connections.

Heathcote enjoyed a winning double at Eagle Farm on Saturday, while he will look to continue that good form with a quartet of runners set to line up at the Gold Coast this coming weekend for the club’s QTIS Jewel meeting.

Heathcote will saddle up the likely favourite for the QTIS Jewel 3YO in Prince Of Boom after he resumed with a dominant win in the qualifier at Toowoomba on March 5.

Also set to line up on the day is Warp Speed in a Benchmark 75, Holiday Dreams in a Benchmark 72 and Stuttering in the Gold Jewel.

The Eagle Farm-based trainer has also accepted with four horses at Eagle Farm’s meeting on Wednesday.

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