Leading Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote is looking for another Toowoomba feature win with a two pronged attack in the Weetwood Handicap on Thursday.
Heathcote travelled up the mountain last year and took out the Listed $100,000 XXXX Bitter Toowoomba Cup (2100m) with Humma, who was having his first start on the cushion track.
This year Heathcote has targeted the Listed $150,000 Kristy Banks Weetwood Handicap (1200m) with six year old Gundy Son and recent Doomben winner Mondean.
Both are having their first go under race conditions on the cushion track but Heathcote doesn’t see that as a problem.
“I know a lot of trainers say horses have to have raced at Toowoomba to be able to win there but I don’t subscribe to that theory,” Heathcote said.
“The Weetwood is one of Queensland’s most-loved races and these horses are both winning chances despite their lack of experience on the cushion surface.”
Heathccote is suggesting to stable followers to dismiss Gundy Son’s last start tenth to Tierqualo at the Gold Coast on March 17 when he was resuming from spell on a heavy track.
“The track was downgraded from a dead five to a heavy ten and I was not at all disappointed with his run considering he was first-up,” Heathcote said.
“Gundy Son is a very good horse on his day, his record second-up is good and his owners are from Goondiwindi and they would dearly love to win the race.”
“He’ll get back a bit off barrier eight but he will be hitting the line strongly and I expect him to be right in the finish.”
Gundy Son has earned the top weight of 59kgs with eight wins from thirty-two starts including a win in the Listed $80,000 Strategic Airlines Chief De Beers (1110m) at Doomben on May 28 last year and a narrow second to Adnocon in the Listed $175,000 City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich in June.
And Heathcote is also playing up the chances of Mondean who will be fitter for running third to Border Rebel in the Makers Mark Open Handicap at Eagle Farm over 1000m on March 17 after a short break.
Mondean was formerly trained by Darryl Hansen at the Sunshine Coast where he did most of his work on the cushion track but is yet to race on the artificial surface.
“His form shows he hasn’t started on the cushion but he would have done a lot of his work on it and his last-start third was a good performance,” Heathcote said.
“Timmy Bell rode him last start and he got off and said he’d love to ride him in the Weetwood if I didn’t have a rider and I am very pleased to have him on.”
Damien Browne who teamed up with Heathcote to secure the trainers first Group 1 win on Woorim in the $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25 takes the ride on Gundy Son while leading apprentice Tim Bell retains the ride on Mondean.