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AHR hope for early Stakes win in new partnership

By Glenn Davis

The new training partnership of Chris Anderson and Rob Heathcote is hopeful of an early Stakes win with Femme Fireball at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Femme Fireball will make her comeback in the Silk Stocking but neither Heathcote nor Anderson have ever won the 1200-metre Listed feature when training solo.

The Anderson-Heathcote partnership had its first runners at Eagle Farm on Wednesday and was successful with its second runner Vienna Moon.

The pair was delighted with its early success but admit Femme Fireball faces a difficult task in the Silk Stocking.

“When I first looked at the Silk Stocking field, I was quite surprised how strong it was,” Heathcote said.

“It’s probably one of the strongest Silk Stockings I’ve seen with good representations from all the big stables interstate and overseas.”

Heathcote said Femme Fireball was ready for her Brisbane winter carnival pipe opener.

“She’s going well and she’s got a good first-up record,” Heathcote said.

“Unfortunately, our hands are tied with her as she’s a backmarker and she needs the speed on to get a clear run.

“She’s got a wonderful finish under the right conditions.”

Heathcote said no specific race has been earmarked for Femme Fireball, who hasn’t raced since finishing ninth in the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares race at the Gold Coast in January.

“We’ll be guided by her form and results where we go with her in the winter,” Heathcote said.

“She’s still eligible for a Class 6 but I’ve always rated her a Stakes quality mare.

“To go on to the winter she’ll need some early success to qualify for some of the better races.

“But the Silk Stocking is so strong I’ll be happy with a first five finish.”

Heathcote rated Chris Waller's Weetwood Handicap winner Sexy Eyes as the main threat to Femme Fireball but also had great respect for Queenslanders Outback Barbie and From Within.

“Sexy Eyes ($7) is in fantastic form and is probably the one to beat but you can’t ignore From Within ($10) or Outback Barbie either,” Heathcote said.

Outback Barbie is the $3.30 favourite in TAB fixed betting and will wear blinkers in her first run since finishing third to Boomsara in the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast in January.

Outback Barbie has drawn the rails and will be ridden for the first time by Jeff Lloyd in her winter carnival comeback.

Trainer Tony Gollan is aiming Outback Barbie at the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara at Eagle Farm in June.

Racing Queensland webnews   May 3