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Femme Fireball eyes listed company

By Isaac Murphy

Femme Fireball continued her perfect start to summer with a third consecutive win in the Sky Racing Pam O’Neill Class 6 Handicap.

The mare had been ridden quietly in her previous two wins and another patient performance from jockey Dale Smith gave the Robert Heathcote trained star to an opportunity to show her quality.

Heathcote said Femme Fireball was showing him more with each of her runs.

“That’s another tough win against quality horses,” he said.

“She got to the leader and had a look around today which makes me think she’ll make a very good mile horse down the track.”

Heathcote had previously stated the mare would be headed towards the Magic Millions 1400m race, which she has now qualified for thanks to today’s victory. 

Heathcote said Femme Fireball will now get her chance to record a first black-type win following a luckless Winter campaign. 

“There’s a listed Just Now Fillies and Mares Quality here in three weeks, which will suit her to a tee,” he said.

“The only negative is she’ll probably run into her stablemate Stella Victoria.”

Jockey Dale Smith has formed a great rapport with the mare and Heathcote said his ride had given his charge every chance.

“Dale gave her a ten out of ten ride, there was a time where it looked like she’d got into a bit of a tricky spot, but he knew her well,” he said.

Smith said he was able to ride the mare a little closer today knowing he had some class horses to run down.

“I had an opportunity to go to the inside on her at around the 600, but I knew how much horse I had under me so was happy to take the trail three wide,” he said.

“She doesn’t know how to lay down this mare, I thought we were in a bit of trouble at the top of the straight, but she just wants to win.”