This Saturday Brisbane’s premier trainer Rob Heathcote will saddle up a double pronged attack on one of Doomben Cup Day’s major support races with Solzhenitsyn and Fillydelphia both to be accepted for the 2012 Lord Mayor’s Cup.
The field for this year’s edition of the $115,000 Group 3 BTC Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) is due out later this morning and Heathcote will be dually represented in the weight-for-age clash.
St Petersburg gelding Solzhenitsyn will be out for back-to-back Doomben wins on successive Saturdays after the five-year-old caught the eye with a big victory at the track last weekend.
Ridden by ace Kiwi jockey James McDonald they beat home a decent field by a minimum one and three quarter lengths in a Class 6 over 1350-metres.
They now go up to the mile for the first time since being sent to Heathcote early last year, the galloper previously prepared in New Zealand by Richard and Chris Otto.
In New Zealand they ran up to 2100-metres, and in their only run over the mile came at their second career start in December 2009 at Ellerslie when they finished third with McDonald in the saddle.
Saturday will be Solzhenitsyn’s first stakes assignment since their 10th in the Group 2 NZ Guineas (2100m) back in December of 2009, which is to date their only run in black type company.
“It’s time to see what he can do,” Heathcote said.
“He’s won seven races and it’s time to see what he can do against some better horses.
“This looks a lovely race to find out.
“If he races well on Saturday I’ll run Solzhenitsyn next over 1500 metres in the (Listed) Spear Chief Handicap two weeks later then the Tatt’s Mile.
“Long-term we’re looking at the Melbourne spring with him.”
Four-year-old Bianconi mare Fillydelphia meanwhile will be looking for a form return after her eighth to Celtic Dancer second-up at the Gold Coast in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) on May 5.
She was unsuited to the Heavy track that day and going up to the mile looks to be a genuine threat on Saturday.
Fillydelphia was racing in excellent form over this distance during the summer winning the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1630m) at Doomben in November, running a close third to Wonderful Lass in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm on December 3, and then just being nudged out of the win when a nose away second to Kontiki Park in the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1615m) on New Year’s Eve.
Other notable gallopers likely to feature in the 2012 Carlton Mid Lord Mayor’s Cup this year are the Chris Waller-trained Firebolt, Anthony Cummings’ former SA Derby winner Shadows In The Sun, and Joe Pride’s 2010 Queensland Derby champ Miss Keepsake.
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