Heathcote Duo Among July Sprint Nominations

Leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote has already prepared more 100 winners in Brisbane this season and is now searching for more wins south of the border with Funtantes and Griffon nominated for the July Sprint (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Funtantes and stablemate Griffon have been nominated for the July Sprint at Randwick on Saturday. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Heathcote announced last week that Funtantes was set to be retired at the end of her current campaign and said he was desperate to send the Easy Rocking mare out a winner.

The rising seven-year-old was due to run in the Channel Seven Open Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday but was scratched after heavy rain in Brisbane caused the track to be downgraded to a heavy eight.

Funtantes will be making her first trip to Sydney since 2009, when she finished second in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1200m) and fifth in the Group 2 Roman Consul (1200m) at Randwick.

Griffon had a consistent Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign, without breaking through for a victory, and was narrowly denied by 2012 Golden Slipper  (1200m) fourth place finisher Doubtfilly at his last start in the Listed Ascot Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm.

The Flying Spur gelding began his career in the stable of Bart Cummings and recorded three straight wins in Sydney in 2010 before being transferred to Heathcote in 2011.

Although he has been consistent in black type racing Griffon has not been victorious since winning the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm earlier in the year.

The July Cup has drawn a strong set of nominations for an end of season race with Bjorn Baker-trained Havana Rey set to begin his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the race.

The rising five-year-old scored an impressive victory in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in March and is expected to contest the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) after resuming on Saturday.

Youthful Jack, Pentasia and See The World were also included in the July Sprint nominations.

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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