Following on from his win in the Listed XXXX Gold Strawberry Road Handicap with Solzhenitsyn, Brisbane's leading trainer Robert Heathcote scored his second victory of the day with Griffon when he stormed home to win the Listed David Jones Lightning Handicap 1000m at Eagle Farm.
Saturday, June 9 was Griffon's first run back since bleeding at the Gold Coast on January 14 when he finished last in the Magic Millions Class 6 Handicap, a race start that Heathcote is still kicking himself for running him in. "It was a Magic Millions race and he was eligible so I ran him against my better judgment" Heathcote said!
Jockey Paul Hammersley put in a lovely ride on Griffon (Flying Spur-Jeune Girl) at Eagle Farm, letting him settle in behind the field where he was happy from his very wide gate . He then peeled out in the straight where the true Griffon ran on strong to win by a widening length and a half margin.
Royal Bender (Glen Boss) crossed the line in second with Glen Schofield piloting Audacious Spirit home in third place a further nose behind.
Heathcote who gave his other runner Excellantes a better chance of winning was full of praise for Griffon.
"He's a good horse this bloke, always has been but things have not always gone smoothly for him" Heathcote said.
"Bart Cummings always had a huge opinion of him and when I first got him, I don't think I ever got him right, which ultimately led to him bleeding at the Gold Coast.
"Paul rode him perfectly. There was plenty of speed on and he did a great job.
"It has taken me a while to get to know the horse. I didn't have him right last time; his coat was never how I wanted it and I suspect he may have had a low lying bug or the like?
"But I'm getting to learn a bit about him the longer I have him and I'm not entirely sure I've ever had this horse at his peak."
Griffon is likely to next run in the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday, June 23, a ride that Hammersley quickly booked himself for when talking to Heathcote after weighing in on Saturday.
The six-year-old gelding started his career with Cummings however moved north to the Heathcote stables in 2011 after he suffered a serious leg injury. He has now earned $199,030 in prizemoney after five wins from 14 starts.
RACING Queensland web news: Elaine Dittman – June 12, 2012
Photo by Noel Pascoe
Website Designed By