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Heathcote hopes for an Eagle Farm winner after health scare

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Rob Heathcote is feeling a “million bucks” following a recent health scare and is hoping to celebrate with a winner at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Heathcote visited his local doctor last Friday after complaining of breathlessness and underwent heart surgery that night to have a stent inserted.

“I was back working at the stables on Monday and I feel a million bucks now,” Heathcote said.

“I was out of breath but only marginally but it was enough for me to recognise there had been a change.

“I went to the doctor for a check-up and I was sent for tests and was operated on that night.”

Heathcote has a big team of eight horses entered for Eagle Farm and has narrowed his best hopes down to Cool Chap in the Open Handicap (1840m) and Femme Fireball in the Open Handicap (1200m).

Femme Fireball was touted as a winter carnival contender last year but her campaign was aborted after she finished eighth to River Racer in a Class Six at Eagle Farm last May.

“We knew something wasn’t quite right and we discovered she had a messy knee which required surgery,” Heathcote said.

“The winter carnival this year is still a bit too far away to consider right now but I’ll take a win from any of my runners on Saturday.

“I rate Femme Fireball and Cool Chap as my best hopes and I’m expecting Roasted to be hard to beat again.”

Femme Fireball finished third in her comeback behind Pennino in a 1200-metre Benchmark race at Eagle Farm on January 18.

“I thought her last run was super as she went into the race a bit overweight,” Heathcote said.

Cool Chap surprised many but not Heathcote when the seven-year-old won over 1600 metres at Eagle Farm on January 18 while Roasted was an impressive all-the-way winner over Oh Five Glory the same day.

“Cool Chap and Roasted both won well last time and they’re like a lot of my runners who are happy to be back racing at Eagle Farm,” Heathcote said.

“I fancied Cool Chap last run after his great third in the (Listed) Bernborough Handicap.

“He steps up to 59kgs but he’s in the zone.

“Roasted is going to 1400 metres for the first time but her fitness won’t be a problem.”

Racing Queensland webnews   January 30