By Glenn Davis
Trainer Rob Heathcote hopes to repay owners Angie and Neil Duncan for their stable loyalty at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Duncans are based at Bega in NSW and have been long-time supporters of Heathcote.
Their friendship began 17 years ago when Heathcote trained his first horse for the Duncans, Punters Pride, who won three times.
Heathcote has four runners entered for Eagle Farm, three of which are owned by the Duncans.
Pinch Passion will start in the Benchmark 70 Handicap, Pinch Vista in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap and Ingeegoodbe in the Open Handicap.
“Punters Pride was the first horse I trained for Angie and it was a very long time ago,” Heathcote said.
“We’ve had a lot of success since then and hopefully there’s more to come.
“I’d love nothing more than to get a really good horse for them that’s capable of winning a big race.”
Heathcote trained a winning double and several minor placings at Doomben on Wednesday and is excited about the return to racing at Eagle Farm.
“Eagle Farm is still in its infancy but it races fair to all horses,” Heathcote said.
“The last four years has taken its toll with some owners but the Duncans are very passionate and have been very loyal owners.”
Stakes winner Pinch River, an eight times winner including the Listed Dalrello Stakes and Listed Bribie Handicap, has been one of the best horses Heathcote has trained for the Duncans.
As well, they race the well performed Listed winner Bidii Babe.
Heathcote was disappointed with Pinch Passion’s barrier 17 but the four-year-old is still a likely starter.
Pinch Passion, a Jim Orman mount, was beaten just over two lengths when sixth to Boom Boom Epic over the extended Doomben mile last start.
“Barriers at Eagle Farm are not as important than at Doomben so Pinch Passion will probably run,” Heathcote said.
Heathcote rated Ingeegoodbe a strong each-way chance following his first-up second over 1350 metres at Doomben on January 9.
“Ingeegoodbe is a very good bread and butter stayer for Brisbane racing and his first up run was super,” he said.
“He probably exceeded my expectations last run and he’s a good each-way chance.”
Heathcote said Duncan’s third runner, Pinch Vista was impressive in his recent maiden victory at Doomben.
“Pinch Vista has always shown ability but it took a while for him to win his maiden,” he said.
“This is clearly a step up in grade but he’ll be competitive.”
Racing Queensland webnews January 16