Nicknamed “Little Pumpkin” because of her tiny stature, Heathcote said Startantes would be lucky to stand 15 hands.
“She’s tiny and would be about 15 hands at best and is one of the smallest fillies I’ve ever trained,” he said.
“This race is more like a barrier trial for her before she goes to Sydney.
‘She’ll come back straight after that race in Sydney and get set for the Brisbane winter.”
Startantes showed she could mix it with the best in Sydney last year when she produced an eye-catching finish for sixth in the Group 1 Golden Rose at Randwick last September.
She then flashed home to finish third to the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Never Been Kissed in the Group 1 Flight Stakes at Randwick.
“It was a phenomenal run in the Golden Rose,” Heathcote said.
“She was damn unlucky to draw wide and she had to go back from the alley.
“I was over the moon with her run in the Flight Stakes.
“She made up a ton of ground and her future is now assured as she’s Group 1-placed.”
Heathcote is undecided about Startantes’ Brisbane winter mission but hasn’t ruled out the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm in June.
“There’s a long way to go before we set any lofty goals and she still needs to qualify for the Stradbroke,” he said.