Queensland mare Fire Up Fifi will press on to the Group 1 Myer Classic (1410m) after storming home to win the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1410m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Patinack Farm-owned Peron hit the lead with 300 metres left to run and looked like she had the race won but Fire Up Fifi made up significant ground in the final stages to record the biggest victory of her career.
Melissa Lynch, stable hand for trainer Robert Heathcote, admitted that she was concerned about the outside barrier draw for the Bradbury’s Luck mare and paid tribute to the ride of regular jockey Damien Browne.
“Our concern was always the outside barrier but she has overcome that with a great ride from Damien,” Lynch said.
“He has won on her before and we are very happy.
“It was big step-up in class for her but Rob bought her down thinking that she would be competitive and we are going to the Myer Classic which is her ultimate goal.”
Brown recorded just his third win at Group level in Melbourne, after winning the 2011 McEwen Stakes with Buffering and the 2012 Oakleigh Plate with Woorim, and was delighted with the performance of the six-year-old.
“We got into three off and I got cover and did nothing early in the run,” Browne said.
“She was probably going a bit too well and I really had to nurse her but when she let down, she let down well.”
Robert Heathcote has suffered a great deal of disappointment in the past week, with Buffering finishing second in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Friday and Solzhenitsyn third in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday, and Brown said he is was happy to get an interstate winner on the board for the leading Queensland trainer.
“For Rob the last couple of weeks have obviously been a bit frustrating so it is great to get a winner on the board and hopefully we can look up for the rest of the carnival. “
Fire Up Fifi will join Sedately (1994) as the only mare to complete the Blazer Stakes/Myer Classic double if she goes on to win the Group 1 event at Flemington on November 2.