Premier Brisbane horseman Rob Heathcote has arrived in Melbourne this week ready for his assault on the spring carnival, one of his top chances of Group 1 glory this season being Solzhenitsyn who runs in Sunday’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2012 at Caulfield.
The St Petersburg six-year-old resumed racing after a three month spell, before which they won back-to-back black types over the mile including the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup at Doomben, on September 8 beating home Bold Glance in a 1350m handicap back home.
They are now set to take on a crack field that will include four-time Group 1 winning mare Mosheen in the $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), Solzhenitsyn’s first elite level assignment.
Formerly prepared in New Zealand by Richard & Chris Otto, the gelding joined Heathcote’s Brisbane operation mid-way through last year and has continued to rise through the grades.
A decision on who will ride Solzhenitsyn on Sunday is still to be decided.
Originally Heathcote hoped for New Zealander James McDonald to be aboard, the horse’s regular rider during their early career, however the weight may not be right.
“It looks as though Glass Harmonium is now going to accept for the race and that means we’ll probably get 53kgs so James McDonald can’t ride him” Heathcote said.
“If that is the case then Corey Brown will take the ride however if the weights are compressed and James McDonald can make the weight then he will keep the ride”.
Solzhenitsyn is set to race third-up in the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) back at Caulfield on October 13, after which a decision on whether to press onto the 2012 Cox Plate two weeks later at Moonee Valley will be made.
In the latest Cox Plate odds at bookmaker.com.au Solzhenitsyn is only rated an $81 roughie for the $3 million weight-for-age clash, markets led by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pierro ($5) who guns for their eighth consecutive career win this Friday night in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley.
The 2012 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes nominations are due out this morning and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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