By Isaac Murphy
Femme Fireball continues to blaze a trail towards greater heights after a gritty last to first win in the Fillies and Mares BM 85 Handicap.
The win over the 1350 was made all the more impressive by slow first sectionals not suiting the back marking style of the mare, but after strong urging from Jockey Dale Smith the progressive race horse picked up her rivals.
Trainer Robert Heathcote said the tempo of the race was always going to be a challenge his filly had to overcome but was rapt with the performance and buoyant about further improvement moving forward.
“They’ve gone very slowly in front I was slightly concerned, but she’s shown me just how good she is to still finish off without any favours in the run,” Heathcote said.
“I thought it was a very astute bit of riding from Dale (Smith) at the 600 when he pulled her out three wide just to let her know she had to get going.”
Jockey Dale Smith said it was always the plan to ride the mare cold and use her closing sectionals to round them up.
“She was off the bit for the first 400 of the race, just trying to get her to settle, but once she did I knew I was on the best horse in the race,” he said.
“She’s a real race horse, she knew where the line was and made sure she go there first.”
Heathcote said the grand final for Femme Fireball would be the Magic Millions, but he would have to bide his time to qualify the mare.
“We want to get her to the Magic Millions, but we need to win enough races to get there,” he said.
“There’s another Fillies and Mares race here in two weeks we’ll put her in and there are a few black type races after that around the mile we’ll look at.”