Eagle Farm trainer Robert Heathcote will welcome the predicted wet weather which will enhance the chances of Hopfgarten in the Group 3 $125,000 Taxibox BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
The Bureau Of Meteorology has forecast heavy rain for the south east corner of Queensland in the lead up to the weekend but a rain affected surface won’t bother Hopfgarten who has won once on the heavy and twice on a soft rated track.
The Doomben track was rated a soft 5 on Thursday morning for the Doomben Cup meeting on Saturday.
Heathcote is aiming Hopfgartern towards to the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10 and if the rain doesn’t arrive for Saturday’s meeting he has the option of running the following week in the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm.
“One thing he loves is the new Eagle Farm track and he loves it soft. Also he will probably get 53 or 52.5 kilograms in the Stradbroke which will also be a big help,” Heathcote told AAP.
“But first we have to get over Saturday and the BRC Sprint. He has drawn wide and provided we do get rain he will run.
“It will be his last run before the Stradbroke. I was tempted to go into next week’s Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm but this is probably better. But I can go there if no rain comes.”
Hopfgarten resumed from a spell for a first up second to Music Magnate in the Group 2 $200,000 Ellyce Galvin Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm April 29 and has Ronnie Stewart in the saddle again.
With plenty of pace drawn inside of Hopfgarten, Stewart should be able to slot the six year old into a nice midfield position from the outside barrier in the near capacity field.
In an open betting race the in-form Kiwi sprinter Splurge sits at the top of the BRC Sprint market order at $5 at Ladbrokes.com.au in front of the Darren Weir trained Ulmann at $6 and Jungle Edge and Federal both at $7.50 while Hopfgarten is marked as a $10 chance.