Robert Heathcote to have big team at Doomben races Saturday

Trainer Robert Heathcote with Buffering
Robert Heathcote was all smiles at the Sunshine Coast. PIC:

Robert Heathcote has been one of Australia’s leading trainers for decades but he struggles to remember a time he has had so many chances in so many feature races at the one meeting.

Heathcote has had another strong year and hopes to finish 2017 with winners at Doomben on Saturday.

He is taking Femme Fireball (Group 3 Vo Rogue Stakes), Hopfgarten (Listed Bernborough Stakes), Pinch River (Listed Falvelon Stakes) Privlaka ($150,000 Buffering Quality) and Ingeegoodbee and Kaiser Franz ($150,000 Shoot Out Quality).

“You never get ahead of yourself in these things. Racing is a great leveller but with any luck we could have a good day,” Heathcote said.

He said Femme Fireball was a surprise packet for the stable and had improved out of sight this campaign.

“Her win at the Gold Coast last Saturday showed that as she was one of the few horses to come from back in the field to win,” Heathcote said.

“That was her third win in a row and it had the bonus of making certain she got into the Vo Rogue field on Saturday. She was in real danger of missing out before the win.

“She will have to run first or second on Saturday to make the Magic Millions Guineas field in a fortnight but if she can get in she will be hard to beat as she likes the Gold Coast.”

A win for Hopfgarten in the Bernborough would give Heathcote a boost on several fronts.

“I have never had any luck in the Bernborough and have had a ;lot of minor placings. This will be Hopfgarten’s fourth run in the race and he was an unlucky third last year,” he said.

“So to win with him would be a fitting way to break my duck in the race.”

Hopfgarten is coming off a ninth in the Group Two Villiers at Randwick at his last start but has travelled well back to Brisbane.

Pinch River is a last-start Listed race winner but his career has been beset by cracked hooves.

“It has been a case of trying everything with him but these days he just swims. He should be ready for the Commonwealth Games,” Heathcote said.

Privlaka was unlucky last start when third in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes and Heathcote believes he is badly off under the set weights and penalties weight scale.

“But he probably should have gone close to winning last start and there is rain predicted which will help him,” Heathcote added.

He believes the Shoot Out will be one of the toughest races of the day as many horses are chasing a wild card into the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m).

“But Ingeegoodbee will be near his best after his last start and old Kaiser Franz is getting fitter and fitter and ran will help him run a big races at odds,’ Heathcote said.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments