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Heathcote hopeful City Smart can slay rivals again

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Rob Heathcote is hopeful City Smart can come up trumps in a David and Goliath clash with Sydneysider Navy Cross at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.

City Smart will also do battle with the Chris Anderson-trained Empire Games in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap over 2200 metres.

City Smart, who is raced by former AFL identity Ron Thomas, is coming off a last start win over Empire Games over 2070 metres at Doomben on May 13.

Thomas formerly played for Richmond in the Victorian Football League and was a general manager for the Sydney Swans.

Thomas and his wife Kim race City Smart under the name of their Balmoral Lodge property which is in Macedon, Victoria.

City Smart was sold for a paltry $30,000 as a yearling in Sydney compared to Navy Cross who was sold for $700,000 purchase at the Magic Millions sales at the Gold Coast in 2018.

Empire Games was sold at the same sale for $70,000.

“My bloke is going good and this is a bit of a David and Goliath clash when you look at the sale ring prices,” Heathcote said.

“There’s no doubt Navy Cross is the one to beat but Empire Games is also pretty smart and was unlucky against us last time.”

Doomben

TAB STRADBROKE DAY JUNE 6 QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap 2070m

Weight students are likely to favour Empire Games in his return bout with City Smart as the Chris Anderson-trained gelding meets Heathcote’s runner on better terms from the narrow defeat.

However, Heathcote isn’t too concerned with the weight disadvantage and is confident City Smart can acquit himself well.

“It was City Smart’s first go over the distance when he finished strongly from near last,” Heathcote said.

“I don’t think he’s got a stout stayer’s pedigree being by Smart Missile who was a sprinter but he handled the distance well enough last start.”

Navy Cross has won three of his nine starts for co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

The son of I Am Invincible took three starts this campaign to strike his best form when he won over 1900 metres at Canterbury on May 6.

Empire Games is raced in a syndicate which includes the Think Big Stud and prominent owner Dr Kim McCasker, who has won a host of feature races including the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 with Laurie’s Lottery in 1999.

Racing Queensland webnews - May 26