By Glenn Davis
Talented mare Stella Victoria will launch her bid for more Stakes success when she makes her comeback with stablemate No Annamossity at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Trainer Rob Heathcote, back training in his own right after a brief partnership with Chris Anderson, has given punters a strong pointer with a slight preference for Stella Victoria who clashes with No Annamossity in the Open Handicap (1200m).
Stella Victoria significantly boosted her broodmare value when she claimed Black-Type for the first time in the Listed Legacy Classic at Doomben last November before running second in the Listed Just Now Quality at Doomben two weeks later.
The five-year-old mare hasn’t raced since finishing seventh in the Listed Coughlan Stakes at Doomben on June 1 which followed a game first-up fifth in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm in April.
No Annamossity, a three-quarter brother to multiple Group 1 winner Buffering, has been off the scene since failing in Class Six grade at Eagle Farm in May.
“Stella Victoria is my preference because she sprints well fresh,” Heathcote said.
“She ran a fantastic race first-up last time in after having only one trial and she only got tired over the last bit to run fifth.
“She’s had two trials this preparation and this is a nice race for her to kick off in.
“She’s already a Listed race winner but her aim this campaign is a few more Listed races coming up in the next few months.”
Heathcote will see how No Annamossity fares in his return before deciding his main target.
“He had a setback last campaign in the winter when he struck himself in an awkward spot which was hard to heal,” he said.
“That’s why he only had three runs last campaign but he’s come back in great order and he could run a cheeky race.
“I think 1200 metres is short of his best distance but he’s also trialled well.
“He’s eligible for the Magic Millions and has the ability to be competitive in Stakes grade.
“I’ll be guided by how he goes in this and his form in the next month or so before deciding where we go with him.”
No Annamossity targeted last year’s summer sprints, finishing sixth in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes and fourth in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes, both at Doomben, in December.
Racing Queensland webnews October 16