By Glenn Davis
Rob Heathcote is hopeful of breaking new ground in his 21-year training career with debutant Guntantes at Doomben on Saturday.
Heathcote can't recall ever winning the opening metropolitan two-year-old race of the season but believes Guntantes could be his first when the colt steps out in the Cory Johnston 50th Anniversary QTIS Two-Year-Old Plate (1050m).
If Guntantes is successful it will be a bitter-sweet victory for the five-times premiership winning training.
“It’s a big ask for Guntantes as he’s only had a short jump out and a trial but he was very impressive both times,” Heathcote said.
“I bred Guntantes but unfortunately I had to euthanase his dam (Cantantes) in February.
“She was 20 and was starting to have a few complications and it was best to put her down.
“Guntantes looks to be good so his mother might have left us with a good son.”
Heathcote has no major plans in mind with Guntantes, a half-brother to Funtantes and Excellantes, who also were prepared by the Eagle Farm trainer.
Funtantes, a son of Easy Rocking, was a great money spinner for Heathcote winning 10 of his 50 starts including the Group 2 Champagne Classic and Listed wins in the Juanmo and Nudgee Stakes.
Excellantes was a son of former dual Group 1 winner Falvelon and won 12 of his 54 starts including three wins at Listed level.
“I very rarely run my horses so early in their careers like this but Guntantes is an exception as he’s doing everything right and deserves his chance,” Heathcote said.
“He’s not eligible for the Magic Millions so I’ll just see how he goes and won’t rush him.”
The Heathcote stable has been in excellent form this season and is currently the frontrunner with 14 wins, one win clear of trainer Toby Edmonds.
Heathcote, who landed at treble at Doomben last Saturday, is also hopeful Monaco Snob can stretch his winning sequence to four in the Corey Johnston Staff Benchmark 75 Handicap (2220m).
Monaco Snob showed he had come of age as a stayer with his win at Doomben two weeks ago which was a big leap of faith for his summer goal, the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy at the Gold Coast in January.
The stoutly bred Monaco Snob was a $24,000 buy at the 2015 Magic Millions March sales and has won five of his 24 starts with prizemoney of more than $91,000.
Heathcote has always had a good opinion of the son of Monaco Consul who won the G1 Victorian Derby in 2009.
“It’s hard for any horse to win three straight so it’s been a big effort from him,” Heathcote said.
“I doubt he’s good enough to go south and he’s got a long way to go before the Magic Millions but we’ll just keep raising the bar and hope he steps up each time,” he said.
Racing Queensland webnews October 5