Heathcote and Munce Hone in on Racing Records

July 19, 2011

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Heathcote and Munce Hone in on Racing Records

Two of Brisbane’s best, trainer Robert Heathcote and jockey Chris Munce, are just a few races away from entering the Queensland racing record books this season.

With just four meetings left to run in the state for the 2010-11 season, Brisbane Premiership frontrunners Heathcote and Munce are each on the threshold of achieving their own unique feats.

Eagle Farm-based Heathcote, who this year enjoyed one of his most successful Queensland Winter Racing Carnivals ever, is on track to score back-to-back training premierships in the sunshine state.

Not only this, but Heathcote could also break the 60 win mark by the end of the season after moving to 58.5 winners with his winning trio last Saturday.

Simmering, Solzhenitsyn and Excellantes all saluted in fine style for Heathcote in their respective races at Doomben taking the determined horseman one step closer to reaching a milestone only achieved by two before him.

To date the late, great Bruce McLachlan holds the record of most number of winners in Brisbane for a single season with 78 in 1987-88.

That was one of six seasons McLachlan cracked the magic 60 mark, the other trainer to do so being Gerald Ryan who twice reached the landmark.

“I have already hit $3 million in prize money this year after being just under last year,” Heathcote said.

“I have a good infrastructure working now.

“What has pleased me the most is that I can go away and everything ticks over as smooth as.

“That’s important and it’s a sign that things are going pretty well.”

Heathcote will get the chance to move into the 60’s this week with runners at Wednesday’s Eagle Farm meeting and Saturday’s Tattersall’s race day.

Jess Sar Belle and Ampho Power are the stable’s reps tomorrow, Brahms mare Jess Sar Belle the top fancy of the two.

Then on Saturday at Eagle Farm Heathcote will again have a strong hand with the likes of $80,000 Listed Tattersall’s Mile hopeful Work The Room, and last-start Doomben winners Simmering and Solzhenitsyn leading the way.

Meanwhile, Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Munce is just six wining rides short of surpassing his self-set record of 85 wins.

Munce’s personal best came in the 1991-92 season when he claimed the Brisbane Jockey Premiership.

While Heathcote has four meetings left to hit 60, Munce is set to head on holiday after this weekend leaving the ace hoop with just two race days in which to break his PB.

“I tell you want, I’ll give it a good crack,” Munce said.

“If I can top 80 I will still be over the moon. My main goal was to just get the premiership.

“I have had a number of trainers helping me along the way and it’s been good, particularly without the support of one single stable.

“Moving back to Brisbane is the best thing we could have done as a family.

“I am enjoying my time up here and to have achieved the goal I set out to, I’m pretty happy about it.”

The only jockey since Munce and his blistering 1991-92 season to achieve 80 or more winning rides in a season was Scott Seamer with an impressive 96 in 2000-01.

With 18 thoroughbred majors to his name including the coveted spring slam-dunk, Munce having ridden winners in the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate over his career, he is already looking towards the upcoming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival which kicks off next month.

“It would be good if I could line up a few nice horses for the carnivals, but if that doesn’t work out I would like to target another premiership and having a better winter carnival next year,” he said.

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