John Sadler’s promising Zabeel filly Heidilicious is unlikely to target the Caulfield or Melbourne Cups this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the rising four-year-old instead to target Group glory on Emirates Stakes Day.
Heidilicious emerged as one of the potential stars of the upcoming spring season with her brave third place finish behind Shootoff in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Having earlier finished sixth to Graeme Rogerson’s sensational Kiwi filly Scarlett Lady in the Group 3 The Roses (2020m) after rearing at the start of the Doomben feature in May, Heidilicious was also defeated by 2011 Melbourne Cup-bound Scarlett Lady in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) when fifth in the fillies’ classic on June 4.
A known barrier rogue, Heidilicious showed enormous improvement in the Derby against open company after Sadler added a tongue tie and barrier blanket to her gear for the first time.
Despite being blocked for a run, Heidilicious displayed her staying potential to finish less than a half-length away from Shootoff and runner-up Shez Sinsational in the Derby.
Sent for a spell following the run, Heidilicious is set to begin pre-training with Sadler at his Flemington stables shortly but she is unlikely to be a Cups campaigner this year.
Malua Racing’s assistant trainer Troy Corstens said Heidilicious “will be aimed specifically” at the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m) on November 12, registered this year as the Zipping Classic in honour of four-time winner Zipping, and not the major spring cups.
Melbourne Cup Carnival fame could still await Heidilicious this spring, however, with Corstens also indicating that the mares-only $300,000 Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, November 5, was also a possible target.
Longer-term plans for Heidilicious, a winner of two of her seven starts to date for $99,988 in prize money, are for a 2012 Melbourne Cup campaign.