Queensland’s leading trainer Robert Heathcote will aim consistent mare Fire Up Fifi at the Myer Classic this spring after she earned her chance to chase Group 1 glory with a gritty win in the Listed Open Mile (1600m) at Eagle Farm today.
The decision to skip the Tattersall’s Tiara paid off for Heathcote as the tough grey mare held off topweight Conservatorium to pick up the $64,000 winner’s cheque. Heathcote toyed with the idea of entering her for today’s Group 1 feature but his patience to wait for the spring was warranted as she claimed her third win at Listed level.
“I said to the owner if she can bank another Listed race today, we’ll go to the paddock, have a little break and she gets a crack in a Group 1 down in Melbourne,” Heathcote said.
Fire Up Fifi will now spell for three weeks before beginning her Myer Classic campaign in the Listed Sheraco Stakes at Rosehill on September 14.
Heathcote praised the ride of Damian Browne who showed initiative to take the fast-finishing grey to the front when leader Someday slowed up mid-race.
“There’s no better judge of speed than Damian,” Heathcote said.
“Damian’s a great rider, it’s simple as that. I give him 10 out of 10 for his ride today.”
Browne described the Bradbury’s Luck mare as a tough galloper and said he was confident she had the race in the bag a long way from home.
“She tries her heart out. Her biggest asset is her guts,” Browne said.
“From the 600m mark they were never going to beat her.”
Adelaide gelding Conservatorium lost no admirers lugging 60.5kg to run a narrow second and appears primed for his own shot at Group 1 level in Perth’s Winterbottom Stakes (1600m) in November.