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Trainer Heathcote hopes to hit stumps in two states

DSC-3421.jpgBy Glenn Davis

It will be either a hit or a miss for trainer Rob Heathcote when he has a throw at the stumps in Sydney on Saturday with stable mates Startantes and Emerald Kingdom.

Startantes will take her place in the Invitation over 1400 metres at Randwick while Emerald Kingdom tackles the Filante Handicap over the same trip.

Back home at Doomben, Heathcote will have a busy day saddling up seven runners across the ten event program.

Heathcote had planned to spell Startantes following her Group 1 placing in the Flight Stakes at Randwick on October 2 before deciding to stay on in Sydney for the $2m Invitation.

The Invitation is exclusively for fillies and mares who are invited for the race.

Emerald Kingdom booked his trip south following the gelding’s gallant return to racing when he ran second to Desleigh Forster’s Golden Eagle-bound Apache Chase at Eagle Farm earlier this month.

Heathcote is confident both sprinters will perform well and is excited about their prospects.

“I was going to bring Startantes back and spell her for the Surround Stakes in Sydney in the autumn before we got wind she could get an invite for The Invitation, which is worth $2 million,” Heathcote said.

Emerald Kingdom

D85-2636.jpg“She hasn’t missed a beat since her great run in the Flight Stakes.

“She’s an 89-rater against horses rated in the 100’s so she’ll have to produce a career best to win.

“Emerald Kingdom is on his way to Sydney by float and it’s a big ask for him to win.

“He’s got a good horse’s weight with 60.5kgs but his first-up run here behind Apache Chase was brilliant.”

Meanwhile, Heathcote rates Rayjen in the Three-Year-Old Fillies Handicap over 1200 metres as the pick of his Doomben team for Saturday.

Rayjen has started only twice, winning at Doomben on debut, before a last start second to Hinged over 1350 metres at Doomben in July.

“Rayjen has a nice future,” Heathcote said.

“She ran second to Hinged who has since been transferred to Chris Waller and she’s now Group 1 placed after running second in the Flight Stakes.

“I think Deep Sceiva is also another good chance of mine after he won at Toowoomba then ran sixth at Eagle Farm last start.

“He wasn’t suited on the Eagle Farm track and I’m happy to get him back to Doomben where he’ll be more competitive.”

Robert Heathcote Next Racing