Robert Heathcote experienced one of his most successful days as a trainer on BTC Cup Day last Saturday.
The top Queensland trainer had a number of placings throughout the day and won both of the Group 3 races held at Doomben Racecourse.
Heathcote admits that after missing out narrowly on wins in the first few races of the day, he was beginning to feel luck was not on his side.
”I’m a realist and when they run well, like Gundy Son and Work The Room, I’m happy – but you start to think it is not your day,” Heathcote said.
Heathcote’s luck turned around when Humma won the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap, a feat which came as a surprise to the trainer.
”To do that [win] was a touch unexpected because that was a good field, but he had to show us something here today,” he said.
Heathcote is now convinced that Humma is capable of a Brisbane Cup run on June 11.
“He can go on to the Brisbane Cup now,” Heathcote said.
The trainer believes that Humma’s jockey, Larry Cassidy, is to be congratulated for getting Humma over the line.
”It really was a 10-out-of-10 ride from Larry and that helped him a lot,” Heathcote said.
Heathcote’s luck did not end there, with his three-year-old Fillydelphia producing a stunning win in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate in the next race.
The trainer made changes to her gear and rider, choosing to replace regular jockey Larry Cassidy and the strapper for jockey Luke Nolen.
Heathcote admitted that he gave both Cassidy and the trackwork rider $1,000 each to make up for making the change.
”I gave the trackwork rider and strapper a monkey each because I wanted to try someone else,” Heathcote said.
”Larry had been riding her well, but I got another jockey [Luke Nolen] as well.
“I actually gave the other two a grand, thinking about it.”
The changes made the winning difference and now Heathcote is looking towards to a Queensland Oaks start on June 4 for Fillydelphia.
“On potential, she was always an Oaks horse and it was great to see her live up to that,” Heathcote said.
“She can go to the Oaks now.”
Of Heathcote’s nine horses to run at Doomben on Saturday, eight managed to pick up a pay check for the grateful trainer.