Sky Racing highlights from the Brisbane Racing Club's meeting at Eagle Farm on Saturday:
Group 2 Moet & Chandon Champagne Classic (1200m)
1st – Rothfire – Robert Heathcote – Jim Byrne
2nd – Isotope – Tony Gollan – Baylee Nothdurft
3rd – Wild Ruler – Peter & Paul Snowden – Ryan Maloney
Robert Heathcote has won the Group Two Champagne Classic with star two-year-old Rothfire, the gelding dictating terms to his rivals from start to finish, bouncing to the lead and never relinquishing.
It is redemption for Heathcote and the horse’s connections who looked assured for a big pay day when he ran $1.20 favourite on a slow track from a bad draw in the Two-Year-Old QTIS Jewel where he ran second.
That run is the only slight blemish on his immaculate record now a Group Two winner at start six and Heathcote saw it coming as he dubbed the horse his best prospect since champion Group One sprinter Buffering.
Freshened up since the QTIS Jewel Rothfire was flawless today, bouncing a length in front of his rivals from that gates taking up his favourite front running role, Byrne easing him to the centre of the track to let down.
Byrne kept him well held until the final furlong, Isotope and Wild Ruler chased hard, but it was in vain as they couldn’t make a dent into the margin.
Recently returned from a serious injury credit must go to Byrne as well who did everything right with the steer.
Group 3 Lexus Gunsynd Classic (1800m)
1st – Supergiant – Michael Costa – Allan Chau
2nd – Ballistic Boy – Chris Anderson – Brad Stewart
3rd – Kinane – Chris Waller – Ryan Maloney
Race Review –
Michael Costa’s three-year-old Supergiant is a Group Three winner at start five holding on by a nostril from the fast finishing Ballistic Boy to win the Gunsynd Classic in a thrilling contest.
The son of Red Giant ran a huge race at odds in the Doomben Guineas last start, almost leading the whole way over the mile gunned down by the smart Vanna Girl late.
It was a huge run considering the class jump from mid-week racing to Group company and punters took notice keeping him safe at around $10 for this week’s assignment.
Supergiant did over the 1800 metres what Rothfire did over the 1000 simply ran them off their legs, regular hoop Allan Chau again going straight to the front and approaching the turn he had the majority of the field off the bit.
He looked all out a winner below the two hundred but was entitled to get weary first time over the trip for such a young horse, Chris Anderson’s Ballistic Boy emerging on the scene a brilliant piece of riding from Brad Stewart seeing him slice through the field.
They couldn’t be split by the naked eye and even as far as cameras go it was as close as it gets, but Supergiant held on for the Gold Coast trainer who stuck with regional rider Chau, who has been associated with the horse from his first start.
Group 2 TAB Victory Stakes (1200m)
1st – Victorem – Jenny Graham – Mark Du Plessis
2nd – Niccanova – Steve Tregea – Jimmy Orman
3rd – Deep Image – Robert Heathcote – Stephanie Thornton
Race Review –
Jenny Graham may base her team at Port Macquarie, but her horses feel right at home in Queensland, Victorem returning to a happy hunting ground at Eagle Farm winning the suitably named Group Two Victory Stakes in fine fashion.
Veteran hoop Mark Du Plessis was able to secure a run midfield off the fence, saving every penny for what would be a frantic finish.
The Gelding travelled strongly into the straight behind leaders Deep Image and Winter Bride, but Du Plessis soon found a wall of horses in front of him approaching the pointy end of the race.
The rider was able to switch back to the inside with most runners preferring the wider going and thread through a tiny gap between Winter Bride and Tambo’s Mate suddenly thrusting himself to victory by a neat length.
It has been some training performance for Graham, before this trip to Queensland the horses last race was the Kosciusko where he ran a bold second.
Graham did her due diligence in the build up to the Victory Stakes a trial in late April followed by a run in early May the polish put on earlier this week with another Doomben trial.
The lightly raced gelding has an outstanding record eight wins and six minors from nineteen starts and well in excess of a million dollars in earnings, the Group Two victory is a cherry on top.