Queensland leading trainer Robert Heathcote continued his great Spring success with Solzhenitsyn taking out the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield today.
The Toorak win wrapped up a memorable day for Heathcote with his top class sprinter Buffering winning the Group 2 $220,000 Schweppes Schillaci Stakes (1000m) earlier in the day.
Solzhenitsyn’s win was only Heathcote’s second Group 1 victory after Woorim took out the $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) earlier in the year.
Heathcote’s six year old put the writing on the board after running home strongly to finish third to Moment Of Change in the Group 1 $400,000 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.
“What a thrill. Group 1 number two, It’s just awesome,” Heathcote said.
“The horse came to me in great order. The very first day I started him he flew home from last and run fourth and I said to the boys there, I said this is a horse that will be on the front page of the papers one day.”
“We’ll go to the Waterford Crystal Mile and onto the Emirates.”
Winning jockey Corey Brown had Solzhenitsyn in a great spot midfield and was chuckling to himself when he saw Nash Rawiller on favourite More Joyous caught wide and having to use the top mare in the early part of the race.
More Joyous under her sixty kilos started to feel the pinch at the 250m just as Brown was winding up Solzhenitsyn and the Queensland galloper was able to hold off the strong finish of Spirit Song and Yosei.
The mighty mare was gallant in defeat and More Joyous held on to finish in fourth spot.
“Last time out here it was very leader bias and he had the audacity to run through the line and was doing his best work late,” Brown said.
“Had no dramas about him obviously getting the Mile, I think it’s his perfect trip. Once we posted the old mare three wide down the back I knew I sort of had her covered because she was going to have to burn a lot of petrol with the big weight to get over and give her a soft enough run.”
“I had all the breaks, had no weight on my back, and it’s good to back in the winner’s circle.”