Newcastle’s Kris Lees will chase his maiden...
Rob Heathcote’s well-tried two-year-old Rothfire is onto the Group 1 J.J. Atkins over 1400m on June 6 after dominating the 2020 Champagne Classic results with an all-the-way win.
The first of three Group races on a new-look Victory Stakes Day card at Eagle Farm this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, it was a small but classy six-horse field for the Group 2 $175,000 Champagne Classic (1200m).
Earlier in the week all the rage in betting was Tony Gollan’s undefeated Deep Field filly Isotope, while Heathcote’s consistent Rothesay gelding Rothfire firmed into narrow favourite by jump time.
After pinging the gates and getting the easy lead, the eventual Champagne Classic winner over-raced a little for veteran hoop Jim Byrne in the early stages before settling up front.
There was little pressure on the uncontested leader throughout and having gotten things all his way, Rothfire was able to produce his expected late burst of speed hitting another gear 300m out and running strongly through the line.
The other top fancied two-year-olds in the clash finished behind him in the money with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Wild Ruler and the previously unbeaten Isotope given their chance to run down the leader, but unable to get to him having to settle for third and second respectively in the Champagne Classic trifecta.
Heathcote declared the Champagne Classic as his “favourite race” after celebrating his third win in the juvenile’s clash following his previous success with Chenar (2000) and her daughter Funtanes (2009).
The victory saw Rothfire take his overall career record up to five wins from six starts and the youngster retain his perfect record at Eagle Farm (4:4-0-0).
Heathcote described the win as a “relief” with Rothfire taking on the Champagne Classic fresh, the up-and-comer having his first start since suffering his maiden loss at the Gold Coast when runner-up as the beaten odds-on favourite in mid-March.
With the 2020 J.J. Atkins running over a reduced distance down from a mile this season, Heathcote is confident Rothfire is the horse to beat in the upcoming Stradbroke Handicap Day support act.
The latest all-in J.J. Atkins odds on Rothfire at Ladbrokes.com.au have firmed in from $6.50 to $4 seeing him jump to the top of the markets ahead of Isotope ($5).
Click here for the current futures J.J. Atkins betting markets.
2020 Champagne Classic Results
|1||1||ROTHFIRE||Robert Heathcote||Jim Byrne||2||57kg||$2.40F|
|2||7||ISOTOPE||Tony Gollan||Baylee Nothdurft (a)||1.3L||5||55kg||$2.90|
|3||2||WILD RULER||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ryan Maloney||1.4L||6||57kg||$5|
|4||4||BEYLIKS||James Cummings||Larry Cassidy||5.4L||1||57kg||$13|
|5||6||KUKERACHA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Matthew McGillivray||7.4L||3||57kg||$21|
|6||8||KABOOM||Darryl Hansen||Robbie Fradd||16.4L||4||55kg||$31|
*Table Credit: Racing Australia
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