By Glenn Davis
Trainer Rob Heathcote is having one of his best seasons for several years and is hoping his recent run of success can continue at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Heathcote, a five-time winner of the Brisbane trainers’ premiership, walked away with 10 yearlings from the Magic Millions QTIS sales, which finished at the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
Heathcote has five runners engaged at Eagle Farm and is hopeful Femme Fireball (Open Handicap), Plitvice (Benchmark 80 Handicap) and Bellissimi Amici in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap can add to his recent list of winners.
“I think Plitvice is the best of my runners and both Femme Fireball and Bellissimi Amici will be hard to beat,” Heathcote said.
“I’ve had a busy year but I’ve got a bit of wind in my sails and the stable is going well.
“I bought eight yearlings myself at the sales and I picked up two more from other buyers.”
Heathcote’s recent run of good fortune has come mostly from his star two-year-old Rothfire and Emerald Kingdom, who is currently having a break ahead of the Brisbane winter carnival.
Heathcote is also hopeful Bellissimi Amici can book a winter campaign if she can bounce back from her last start second to the Steve O’dea-trained Tumbler Ridge at Eagle Farm on March 7.
“I think she can win as she had to concede weight to Tumbler Ridge and she meets him on better terms this time,” he said.
“I’m also going for a three kilo claim from Adin Thompson.
“She’s stepping up to 1400 metres for the first time but I think she’ll run a mile and I’m looking at the J J Atkins with her.”
Plitvice, a winner of three of his past four starts, is a son of Mossman and was most impressive winning over 1600 metres at Eagle Farm on March 7.
“He’s a big chance and is probably my best chance of the day,” Heathcote said.
“He sat three deep all the way and still won last start.
“He’s stepping up to 1800 metres for the first time which is always a query but I think he can do it.”
Heathcote believes Femme Fireball is back to her best following her win over 1350 metres at Doomben last month.
“She’s also stepping up in distance to 1500 metres but she won really well last time,” he said.
“I think she’s back to her best now but she might be a better horse at Doomben.
“She’s always been a classy mare and has had a few issues but we’re on top of them now.”
Racing Queensland webnews - March 18