Trainer Robert Heathcote is confident of success for standout 2013 winter performer Solzhenitsyn in this weekend’s Group 3 BRC Sprint (13500m) at Brisbane’s Doomben Racecourse, despite the likely chance of having to carry 61kgs.
Unable to match the late pace of his rivals when sixth in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) first-up on April 26th, Heathcote told Racing Ahead the St Petersburg gelding has worked well in the lead-up to the BRC Sprint, putting in his most convincing effort so far on Tuesday morning.
“It was good this morning, as good as I could have hoped for” Heathcote said.
“It was on the course proper at Doomben and he really hit the line with his usual enthusiasm.
“His work rider Melanie, who knows him so well, said that he feels as good as ever.”
Also included in nominations for the featured Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) just one week later on May 24th, Heathcote said that even with the heavy weight anticipated, the fast turnaround should make no difference to Solzhenitsyn’s performance.
“I am going to run him and the handicapper is going to give him 61” Heathcote said.
“He is going to lump a big weight around, Nash Rawiller is going to ride him and it was always my plan to back him up later in the Doomben 10,000.”
Securing an impressive total of 13 victories and 11 minor places from 37 competitive race starts to date, Solzhenitsyn without date hit career best form over a memorable 2013 racing calendar, producing a strong turn of foot to finish third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up and continuing to build in class on route to a victory in the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) in his native Brisbane.
Returning in spring in similarly good form, the gelding out of Tri Victory finished second in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) first-up, and while unlucky to finish third when blocked for a run in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in September 29th, successfully defended his 2013 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) title on October 12th.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 BRC Sprint is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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