Heathcote Misses Solzhenitsyn’s 2013 Doomben Cup First Acceptance

After Solzhenitsyn was missing from Wednesday’s Doomben Cup 2013 first acceptances questions over the horse’s fitness arose.


Solzhenitsyn will target the 2013 Stradbroke Handicap this winter after missing payment for the Doomben Cup. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

It turns out however there is nothing amiss with the St Petersburg gelding but that ace Brisbane trainer Rob Heathcote overlooked the cutoff date for first declarations for the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m).

The May 18th feature had been spruiked by Heathcote as the major Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival target for the talented gelding, winner of the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield last spring.

Solzhenitsyn looked on track for a big autumn when they resumed in March at Rosehill with an eye-catching third behind then star stablemates Pierro and More Joyous in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).

Things went amiss at their next run however when a Slow (7) track got the better of them and they failed to beat home any of their 11 rivals in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Slipper Day, also won by the now retired Pierro.

Heathcote had hoped to get the galloper’s season back on track in their home state last Saturday with Solzhenitsyn running in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast.

The spark wasn’t there again however as they finished seventh to the Peter Moody-trained Doomben Cup favourite Lights Of Heaven, albeit only beaten one and three quarter lengths.

Their failed run in the Hollindale was used as the reasoning behind their absence from yesterday’s Doomben Cup first declarations by many.

But news today is that Heathcote simply slipped up and forgot to pay first declarations.

Instead of making connections fork out the hefty $22, 000 late entry to get Solzhenitsyn back into Doomben Cup contention Heathcote has instead decided to target the 2013 Stradbroke Handicap with them.

The horse will still run on Doomben Cup Day in the much easier $115,000 Group 3 Lord Mayors Cup (1615m) before dropping back in distance for $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 8.

Current Stradbroke Handicap odds are led by another Heathcote runner, the brilliant Buffering ($6.50) who lines up in their 14th Group 1 race this Saturday looking to break their elite level duck in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).

Further down the Stradbroke Handicap betting markets punters can then find Buffering’s stablemate Solzhenitsyn at a quote of $15 who will be ridden by Michael Rodd in Queensland’s richest race.

Another major stable that missed the Doomben Cup declaration deadline was John Thompson’s who missed payment for Hollidnale Stakes third placegetter Transporter, the in-form Commands five-year-old a chance for the $110,000 Listed Scone Cup (1600m) on May 17.

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