Brisbane’s Robert Heathcote is confident an on pace style will suit his stayer Volkhere when the galloper backs up from a Stradbroke Day run in the Ipswich Cup 2015 this weekend.
The Dehere six-year is one of a dozen horses nominated for the $175,000 Listed Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m), the handicap clash heading the action of the latest Queensland Winter Racing Carnival meeting on Saturday.
Volkhere only had a run last Saturday at Doomben when fifth past the post, beaten one and a quarter lengths in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) behind the upset 41-1 winner Jetset Lad.
That was the rising seven-year-old’s eighth straight defeat, Volkhere last seen in the winner’s stall at the Gold Coast in October last year winning over 2200m.
His form this winter has been hit-and-miss and includes a second behind subsequent Doomben Cup winning French import Pornichet in the Toowoomba Cup (2150m) on May 2 before a Caloundra Cup eighth and the Brisbane Cup fifth.
Heathcote is happy now to put the horse on the seven day turnaround into the Ipswich Cup, Volkhere’s second run at the tight circuit after he failed to impress when 11th behind the Tony Gollan-trained Brave Ali in the race last year.
“He loves racing and he will be up near the pace. Why not back him up?” he told AAP.
Heathcote is shooting for his third Ipswich Cup success following wins in 2009 and 2010 with Our Lukas who was also third behind Gold In Dubai in the 2011 edition, the top trainer happy overall with the stable’s performance this season.
“It has been another pretty good season and our stable will finish second to Tony Gollan in the metropolitan premiership this year,” Heathcote, who will miss the Ipswich meeting in favour of a European break, said.
“But I made a promise to myself a few years ago to stay in shape and have a good holiday every year. Training is a very demanding job and you have to stay on top of things.”
Gollan meanwhile will shoot for back-to-back Ipswich Cup wins this year with Hi Son, the Husson five-year-old who was last seen running fifth behind Faust when beaten two lengths in Doomben’s Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2020m) on May 23.
The 2015 Ipswich Cup field and barriers are out on Wednesday morning so stay tuned.
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