Robert Heathcote’s Fillydelphia held her own as the three-year-olds went around in the $125,000 Group 3 Mittys Rough Habit Plate 2020m at Doomben on Saturday, May 14.
In fact she annihilated the competition in the straight with a two and three quarter length victory.
Heathcote had plenty of confidence in his filly and is now looking forward to her pinnacle goal, the Group 1 Queensland Oaks. “I’ve been saying to everyone that she’s got it,” he said.
Fillydelphia’s (Bianconi USA-Edel Vanessa) potential was yet to be revealed in her form leading up to the race but from what Heathcote and the filly’s trackwork rider Peter Spargo were seeing in her work they knew it was there.
“I really needed to see her show me what she’s been showing us on the track (in work),” said Heathcote.
Heathcote also made the decision to take the blinkers off her and the huge change of jockeys from regular rider Larry Cassidy to Black Caviar’s hoop Luke Nolen.
“I said it’s nothing against your riding Larry, we just need to change our luck,” said Heathcote.
Prior to the race the trainer said to Nolen, “Mate she’s good enough to be winning this race, on her best form she can win this, don’t doubt me one bit.
“Just get her out into the clear.”
Nolen had Fillydelphia sitting off the rails for the trip but they got the gap to get around into the clear. Once there the filly put in the strides to win leaving behind Hour of Peril (Jim Byrne) in second.
Race favourite Chateau Fort (Damian Browne) placed third by a neck.
Nolen felt confident onboard Fillydelphia in the run. “She felt like she was always going to offer me something,” he said.
“When they ground the tempo back from the 1000m onwards we were going to need some luck from the position we ended up in. There was a couple that crept up beside us and we were in a bit of traffic but they kept opening up and when she was presented with the run she really hit the line nicely.
“I think she’ll be a nice Oaks filly on that. I think she may be open to further improvement off the back of that good experience.”
The Heathcote stables had a successful day at Doomben with Humma and Larry Cassidy taking out the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap, Gundy Son second in the Doomben Dash and three thirds, including Buffering in the Group 1 BTC Cup.
RACING Queensland web news: Hollie Roberts – May 16
Photo by Noel Pascoe
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