Fire Up Fifi returned to her best form with a third place finish in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 17 and trainer Robert Heathcote is confident that the popular grey will run well in the 2014 Dane Ripper Stakesat Eagle Farm this weekend.
Fire Up Fifi did not perform at her best in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and retirement was considered an option for the Bradbury’s Luck mare when she failed to beat home a runner in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on April 26.
Heathcote told Racing Ahead this morning that he was pleased to see Fire Up Fifi finish strongly in the BRC Sprint and is expecting another strong performance from the mare against what is set to be a strong field in the Dane Ripper Stakes on Saturday.
“She got back and hit the line, which is what we needed to see and it was the first time in a few runs that she hit the line as well as that,” Heathcote said.
“She is going to carry a decent impost, 58 and a half, which she has earned at under set weight and penalties conditions, but I am happy with her and I think that she will race well.”
Heathcote will not have a runner in the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap field, following the withdrawal of Buffering, but will still be well represented on the Eagle Farm card this weekend; with talented gelding Hopfgarten set to contest the Listed Daybreak Lover (1600m).
Hopfgarten recorded his maiden win at Group level in the Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm on April 26, but was never able to get into the race when he took on a strong field in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 17.
Heathcote said that Hopfgarten’s run in the Fred Best Classic was better than it looked on paper and he is confident that the son of Mossman can produce an improved effort in the Daybreak Lover this weekend.
“I am happy with him,” Heathcote said.
“You look at his form and the 1350 may have been a disappointing run, but we weren’t too disappointed; he got back and he was run off his feet.
“He is right to step back up to the mile now.
“He has become a bit of a lazy horse in his work, but he is certainly feeling well and he is enjoying himself.”
Heathcote is also set to be represented by Veewap and Magic In Motion in the Listed Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m) and Pinch River in the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m).