Robert Heathcote has included both Fusina and Gid Up Strop in the 2015 Gunsynd Classic field and the leading Brisbane trainer is happy with both horses heading into the Group 3 event at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Gid Up Strop returned to racing with a credible fourth behind Denarius in the Silky Smooth And Speedy Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on March 28 and he showed a strong turn-of-foot when he returned to winning form in the Best Security Plate (1630m) at the same venue on April 11.
Heathcote told Sky Racing Radio that he has always had a big opinion of Gid Up Strop and he is hopeful that the Pendragon gelding can win the 2015 Gunsynd Classic this weekend on the way to the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben on June 6.
“Gid Up Strop is on the second line of the market and he is coming off a recent Saturday win over the mile,” Heathcote said.
“The trip to the 1800 metres is really going to suit him and being by Pendragon, he just strikes as a Derby horse and from day one I said that this was my Derby horse.
“Everything he is doing hasn’t given me any reason to change my regard for the horse and he is on track.
“He has the wonderful ability in his races to just drop bit and travel and conserve his energy and then he has a lovely turn-of-foot.
“I think Damian Browne is quiet excited by his chances.”
Fusina recorded just one win in the first eight starts of his racing career, but he earnt himself a maiden opportunity in black type company with back-to-back wins in the Premier Racing Premierships Handicap (2020m) at Doomben on March 21 and the Charles Williams Hairdressers Handicap (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast on April 5.
Heathcote admits that Fusina will be facing the toughest test of his racing career to date in the Gunsynd Classic, but he expects the Nicconi gelding to perform better than his current odds suggest in the Group 3 event.
“Fusina is coming off a couple of recent wins in much weaker company and I must admit that I was a little surprised when I saw the attractive odds of $35,” Heathcote said.
“The market does not give him much of a chance, but I think that he is a better chance than that.”
Gid Up Strop is currently available at 2015 Gunsynd Classic odds of $6 with Ladbrokes, while Fusina is priced at $21 to record an upset win.