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Stella Victoria to chase Stakes races during summer carnival

By Glenn Davis

Talented mare Stella Victoria continues her progression to Stakes races during the summer carnival when she bids for a hat-trick of wins at Doomben on Saturday.

Trainer Rob Heathcote has a big opinion of Stella Victoria who is raced by long-time Sydney clients, Wilf and Rosemary Mula.

Wilf Mula, a former Australian Turf Club committeeman, will make the trip from Sydney to watch Stella Victoria in the Pullmann Brisbane Airport Class Six Plate (1350m).

Stella Victoria was previously trained by David Payne in Sydney before being sent to Heathcote for the Brisbane winter carnival.

“Unfortunately, she came to me midway through her preparation for the winter carnival and things just didn’t go her way with bad barriers and wet tracks,” Heathcote said.

“She’s a good mare shooting for three in a row on Saturday and she’s the best chance of my five runners.”

Heathcote said his biggest concern was the forecast for rain as Stella Victoria has failed in her two soft track starts although she has placed once in one of her two starts on a heavy track.

“Her biggest query is how she’ll handle a wet track if the rain comes,” Heathcote said.

“We got 10 millimetres on Wednesday night and there’s a forecast of 80 per cent rain on Saturday of between 10 and 20 millimetres.

“But the wet is not only a query for her it’s the same for her opposition as it’s been a long time since we’ve been on a wet track.”

Stella Victoria was most impressive stepping up from a 1000-metre win at Ipswich last month to a dominant last start victory over 1350 metres at Doomben on September 15.

“It was a big effort stepping up from her first up run over 1000 metres to win over 1350 metres second up,” Heathcote said.

“I’ve always believed she has a lot of potential and her aim now is to get some Black-Type during the summer carnival.”

Stella Victoria’s latest win took her record to three wins and nine placings from 18 starts but Heathcote believes bigger wins are in store.

Heathcote, a five-times premiership winner, is currently second on the Brisbane premiership table with 11 wins, just two wins behind leader Toby Edmonds and one win ahead of fellow Eagle Farm trainer Steve O’dea on 10 wins.

His recent strike rate couldn’t be more impressive with five wins from his past 10 starters after notching up a double with his latest staying discovery Monaco Snob and Zofonic Dancer at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.

Racing Queensland webnews  September 28