The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The continuing success of premier Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote is set to continue at Doomben on Wednesday, four from his stables including Diamond Heist looking to add to his winning record for the season.
Front-runner to claim back-to-back Brisbane Training Premierships, Heathcote is due back from holidays on Sunday.
But before his return, stable foreman Melissa Leitch hopes to enter the winner’s stall with at least one of Heathcote’s hopes tomorrow to add to the solid run they have enjoyed over the past few weeks.
Heathcote has been holidaying with his family in the US, meaning he missed the record-breaking win by his Show A Heart gelding Woorim in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at Caloundra last Saturday.
Woorim’s win boosted Heathcote’s lead in his bid for successive Premierships to 22 ½ over his closest rivals, Liam Birchley and John Thompson, and was the fifth metro winner Leitch has overlooked while her boss enjoyed a break.
“It’s been a team effort and it’s not just me,” Letich said.
Kicking off the day for Heathcote’s Eagle Farm stable at tomorrow’s meet is Pure Theatre gelding Diamond Heist in Doomben Race 2 – the $13,000 SKY Racing Maiden Handicap (1040m).
Set to jump from the ideal barrier three draw with in-form hoop Damian Browne in the mount, three-year-old Diamond Heist will be having just their third career start and is out to break their maiden status after running second to Rocker in the Glenlogan Park Handicap (1100m) here on June 15.
Leitch rates Diamond Heist as one of the top chances tomorrow, saying he was unlucky not to come closer last start after he hung out throughout the race.
Diamond Heist is hampered by a “wild” white eye, which makes the galloper a challenge to train and ride.
“When a horse has a white eye they generally get spooked at everything that moves,” Letich explained.
“He does a lot of things in fear and we’ve tried using blinkers on him in barrier trials and trackwork but he goes too hard with them on.
“He’s not an easy horse to ride because of that but we’re hoping Damian Browne can nurse him along.
“His problem of hanging has only been in races as he runs as straight as a die in trackwork.”
Heathcote will also be represented by debutant Mako Shark in the $13,000 Padua College 2YO Maiden Plate (1200m), Zabeel six-year-old Zaman in the $13,000 Blackwoods Class 4 Handicap (2060m) and the improving Tomboy in the $13,000 QARDSS Fillies & Mares Class 3 Handicap (1350m).
Due to be ridden by apprentice hoop Ashley Butler from barrier eight, Tomboy is perhaps Heathcote’s best chance of adding to his tally of winners as Murphy’s Blu Boy filly comes into the race on the back of successive wins last month.
Last start Tomboy easily accounted for her rivals in the Racing Retro 3YO Plate (1300m) at Eagle Farm on June 29, the filly overcoming a wide draw to win by one and three quarter lengths over Save Yourself to salute for the punters that had backed her from $8 into $3.80.
Butler was aboard Tomboy for the first time in the Racing Retro and after showing patience and composure when she was caught out wide during the run, has been retained for Wednesday’s ride.
“Tomboy drew wide last time and never had any luck when she was caught out three wide,” Leitch said.
“It was a great win and she was going away from them in the end.”
Tomboy steps up 2.5kg in the weights tomorrow but is still the classiest horse in the race and will take some beating according to Leitch, as too will her masterful coach in the Trainer’s Premiership again this year.
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