Trainer Robert Heathcote will have to alter Winter plans for Solzhenitsyn after the five year old led all of the way in the Group 3 $115,000 WFA Carlton Mid Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) at Doomben today.
Solzhenitsyn was put to the test today stepping up from a restricted class win over 1350m last week at Doomben to a dominant win at weight for age and came through with flying colours.
Usually a back maker, Solzhenitsyn proved that he didn’t have to be ridden off the pace last start and Michael Rodd had no hesitation in taking him straight to the front from an inside barrier.
Heathcote had no definite winter plans for the five year old but now that he has won at Weight for age will have to search the racing calendar for some suitable races.
“I’ve always liked him and I always knew there was a good race in him,” Heathcote said.
“And while there are those that will argue that it wasn’t really a weight for age race, well they are wrong because it was, it was a weight for age race, he’s carried 59, he’s beaten some proven horses that have won near a million dollars and he’s on his way up.”
“He was on a back up and taking that step from restricted grade to this level and he’s done it in style. And what a lovely ride from Michael.”
Rodd had Solzhenitsyn travelling smoothly in front and it was clear at the top of the straight that he was going to be very hard to run down.
Solzhenitsyn had a length to spare on the line from Firebolt who ran home strongly for second with Ginga Dude also finishing hard for third.
Rodd was impressed with the versatility of the winner and said he thought 2000m wasn’t beyond him.