Leading trainer Robert Heathcote doesn’t consider Fillydelphia’s 58kgs is a problem as she attempts to continue her winning form in the Listed $80,000 Tattersall’s Recognition Stakes (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Fillydelphia won her first race for thirteen months at Eagle Farm two weeks ago with apprentice Aidan Holt steering the mare to a three and a quarter lengths win over Zedlion and Falino.
Holt’s 2kg claim was a big factor in the Bianconi mare’s return to the winner’s stall but Heathcote has called on the services of top jockey Michael Cahill as the conditions of the Recognition Stakes don’t allow apprentices to claim.
And even though Fillydelphia’s weight is jumping up from 55kgs to 58kgs, Heathcote is still confident that she will get the job done with the advantage of drawing the inside barrier.
“She’s drawn barrier one and even though she goes up to 58 kilos she’s been a good weight carrier throughout her career,” Heathcote told AAP.
“Last year she ran an unlucky second in the Bernborough Handicap with 59 kilos and while this is a good field it’s not Bernborough quality.”
Heathcote was very relieved that Fillydelphia was able to find her way back into the winner’s stall at Eagle Farm and another black type win at Doomben will add more value to her as a broodmare when she starts her stud career next year.
“We needed to see her come back and it was a big relief to see her perform so well when she won at Eagle Farm last start,” Heathcote said.
“That convinced us to push on through this final season and she can go to stud next year.
“She’s a valuable broodmare being a multiple stakes winner.”
A finish in the top five placings will see Fillydelphia’s prizemoney soar past the $500,000 mark and a good performance will ensure that Heathcote will give her another attempt to win the Listed $175,000 Bernborough Handicap (1625m) which will be run at Toowoomba for the first time when Clifford Park resumes racing on its new grass course proper on December 31.
Even with her heavy impost of 58kgs Fillydephia has been installed the $4.20 favourite for the Recognition Stakes just ahead of last start Flemington winner Black Cash at $4.60.
Sydney trained five year old Absalon is next in the market order at $8 with the Tony Gollan trained Listen Son, with 59kgs, marked at $10.
Heathcote has enjoyed a great Melbourne Spring Carnival with Buffering breaking his Group 1 duck winning the $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 followed by a win in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.
He then went to Perth to rack up a Group 1 hat trick by winning the $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
And Solzhenitsyn made it back to back Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) wins at Caulfield on October 12.