Pinch River is set to return to the races in the 2014 Dalrello Stakes at Doomben and trainer Robert Heathcote believes that the promising gelding is a genuine winning chance in the Listed event this weekend.
Pinch River made his racing debut with a narrow all the way win in the Watpac Specialty Services Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on November 2 and scored a dominant six lengths victory in the Brisclean Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on November 16.
The son of Denman made his debut at Group level in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on December 28 and finished sixth after jumping awkwardly at the start before finishing 13th in the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 11 after setting a quick early tempo.
Heathcote told Sky Racing HQ that Pinch River’s run in the Magic Millions Classic was better than it looks on paper and is confident that the two-year-old will be a factor in the finish of the Dalrello Stakes this weekend.
“It was a good run in that Magic Millions,” Heathcote said.
“It wasn’t our plan to lead and they went at a pretty frantic tempo in that race and that didn’t suit him.
“He is a good winning chance on Saturday.”
Pinch River has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) that will be held at Eagle Farm on June 7, but Heathcote revealed that he does not have any target for the juvenile and is hoping that he can win a couple more races before the end of his two-year-old season.
“At this stage the goal is to just win a couple of races and anything during the winter carnival is a bonus,” Heathcote said.
“He is a nice horse, I like him, and he is better than he was during his first preparation when he won a couple.”
Pinch River isn’t the only horse in the Dalrello Stakes nominations that will be returning to the races after having a stint in the spelling paddock, with Bassillique and Vienna Royale reappearing for the first time since running in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes and Magic Millions Classic respectively, while Goodbye Kevin is taking food form into the race after finishing a narrow third behind Aimee and Sagatona in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Handicap (1200m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.