Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn has earned the chance to become a dual Group 1 champion this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with trainer Rob Heathcote to back them up in the Emirates Stakes 2012 next month after their good Cox Plate Day run.
The St Petersburg six-year-old has been in flying form this time in, the former New Zealand galloper making a nice Melbourne debut in September when third in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
They then handed Brisbane Premiership winning trainer Heathcote with just his second Group 1 triumph when they beat a smart field in the Toorak Handicap over the Caulfield mile on Guineas Day.
Last weekend Solzhenitsyn produced another eye-catching run this time handling the tight turns at Moonee Valley in fine style to run a close third beaten just a length by Silent Achiever in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m).
Heathcote has since confirmed the gelding came through the run well and would have their spring grand final in the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) one of two Group 1 features to bring the Melbourne Cup Carnival to a close on Saturday November 10.
“I’m delighted with him and was delighted with his run yesterday,” Heathcote said on Sunday.
“He’ll push on to the Emirates and he’ll be darn hard to beat.”
It will be an extra exciting Emirates Stakes Day for Heathcote as he will vie for a Group 1 double, his stable ace Buffering looking to bounce back after running a disappointing sixth as the beaten favourite in last Friday night’s Manikato Stakes, when they run in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).
Final fields for all the Emirates Stakes Day races including the 2012 Patinack Farm Classic and the Emirates Stakes 2012 will be released on Wednesday November 7.