Brisbane’s premier horseman Rob Heathcote knows this year’s 2012 George Moore Stakes field is a beauty and that the race is wide open and he hopes this will work in favour of his two gallopers, the best fancied of which is Excellantes.
Heathcote will saddle-up both Excellantes and Gundy Son in the $200,000 Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) on Saturday, the duo paying $16 and $18 respectively as two of the roughies in the bookmaker.com.au markets.
The pair both come via the same lead-up run with Falvelon five-year-old Excellantes having finished one better when fifth in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap over the track and distance on November 24, seven-year-old Gundy Son in sixth.
Of the two it is Excellantes who Heathcotes rates a better chance of scoring an upset George Moore Stakes result and beating home the likes of the resuming Belltone ($4), reigning winner Adebisi ($5) and former gun two-year-old Phelan Ready ($6).
Twelve months ago Excellantes ran a good fourth to Adebisi in the George Moore on the back of a Keith Noud second.
This year they’ve been up since early October, one of their best runs for the season being a close third to Unpretentious in a Listed sprint on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington, and Heathcote is warning punters not to write them off.
“I liked his run last time because it was an unusual lead-up prep,” Heathcote said – Excellantes having run in the Keith Noud after a three start campaign in Melbourne.
“When he came back from Melbourne I gave him ten days out at a Washpool Lodge and he only had a saddle on him for five days before the race so it’s fair to expect improvement from that run.
“I wasn’t sure if he would come back well but that run showed me he has.
“He was competitive without winning (in Melbourne) and the form out of the race on (Melbourne) Cup day has stood up.
“I think he’s still improving and his work subsequent to his last run has been really good.”
Heathcote does however concede that Excellantes and Gundy Son are likely running for a place at best with Adebisi the one to beat again according to him.
“I think both of mine will race well, but Adebisi looks the one to me,” Heathcote said.
“He won well first up and Desleigh (Forster) is just flying at the moment – good luck to her.”
He is also worried that Excellante’s run could be hampered by their wide barrier 13 of 13 draw – Gundy Son in seven – but hopes they can keep up there on pace.
“Adebisi is coming out of gate ten so he’ll be looking for the lead but my bloke has the leg speed to be in the first four or five runners,” he said.
As for Gundy Son Heathcote said things hadn’t gone exactly according to plan for them over the past 12 months and that they would be out to atone on the weekend.
“A few things have gone against him this year,” Heathcote said.
“We ran him first-up on a heavy track at the Gold Coast last campaign and it took him a long time to get over that.
“I liked his first-up run (in the Keith Noud) and the key with him is to get him to the outside and let him get home.”
Whether it is one of Heathcote’s roughies or one of the six single-figure chances in the George Moore Stakes field and markets you’re backing this Saturday make sure you get them at the best prices online at bookmaker.com.au.
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