Story and Photos courtesy of Graham Potter and www.horseracingonly.com.au
By Robert Heathcote | Thursday, December 15, 2011
Robert Heathcote is the leading racehorse trainer in Brisbane. 'Rob's Shout' - the personal blog of the multi-premiership winning trainer will appear every Thursday on HRO.
Last week, after Tomboy had won the last, I was asked by Nathan Exelby in the post-race interview, "it must be nice to end a disappointing day on winning note?"
My answer was that it had been far from a disappointing day even leading into the last race and whilst finishing the day with another winner was a huge thrill, I thought it had already been a good day up till then anyway!
Sure, my expectations as the trainer may be vastly different to the betting publics as success in punters eyes is often simply measured by winners … and winners only. My evaluation of a good day is not necessarily measured solely by winners.
Up till the last race, my stable’s results were a second, two thirds, a fourth in a Group race and a couple of fifth placing's with the only real disappointment being Il Cardinal, who has come out of the race with an issue which has required a spell.
Considering the racing had been on a rain affected track, I was more than satisfied with the day’s results and yes, Tomboy resuming with a dominant win did send us home with a warm glow and made the post-race drinks that much nicer!
Even Excellantes’ close fourth was a good run considering he didn't sprint on the slow track like we expected him to do, so he still gets a high pass mark for his efforts from me.
Like I said, maybe the punters scored him a D-minus but their expectations are vastly different to mine!
I remember when Michael Rodd made a hasty comment about the punters after a race during the Spring Carnival which got a few noses out of joint. I believe his comments were taken out of context and I understood what he meant. It's true that the punters do provide the fuel which drives the industry but their expectations and opinions are more often than not spoken through the pocket!
I thought Griffons effort after a very lengthy layoff was solid and Alltherightmoves win was quite amazing. She looks the real deal.
Griffon had a good blow after the race and I am sure he will take good benefit from his first-up run and he will be better over a bit further and ridden a touch more conservatively. If I can keep him sound, he will be winning races soon!
Connections celebrate Tomboy's victory
Alltherightmoves win was quite amazing. She looks the real deal
Master Of Puppets was a good effort to run third. He may lack just a touch of class at this level, but the Patinack Pins filly sure doesn't! That was a dominant win from Pretty Pins and there is a good race in her later on like an Oaks!
Full credit to the winner of the Group 3 race, Adebisi, it was a great display of front running and he beat a good quality field.
Maybe he was better suited by the slow track?, I know my bloke Excellantes was not so maybe time will tell as they will no doubt face off again down the track.
Tomboy is a very good mare! She has now won five of her last six runs and the time she was beaten she was odds-on and slaughtered!
She was impressive to win first-up on a slow track and yes, the connections were pleasantly surprised to get the very good odds.
My other runner in the race, Sway To Go was taken on in the lead again and he had to hand it up due to the tempo. He has shown he is a better horse when he can lead but he still fought the race out well to run a close fifth, so I was not dissatisfied with his effort. He has now gone for a well-earned spell after a successful campaign.
I was not surprised by what Tomboy did, I had said to the owners that she may be just a touch soft for this first-up run, but class can take them a long way and she sure showed that.
Paul, Mat and Anthony all had a ball with their families with them on the day. I know they were quite chuffed by the club officials allowing a winning post race photograph with their kids in the shot.
Tomboy has now won six from eleven so if she stays sound and healthy I am sure there will be black type down the track for her.
She will next line up in a Class 6 plate over 1350 which will be three weeks between runs. I expect her to be hard to beat in that also as she will get in with 55.5 kilos. That's a good weight with her record!
My stable is about to go through a bit of a 'transitional' period and I may be a bit quieter in the upcoming couple of months.
I have quite a few new, younger horses who are still finding their feet. I have a number of juveniles at various stages of their preparation, but I rarely push theyoungsters this side of Christmas.
The last good two-year-old I had was maybe Buffering and he didn't start racing until March of his two-year-old year and he went onto win his first four two-year-old races.
If a youngster happened to put their hand up as a ready-made running two-year-old, it will be given its chance to perform but generally I treat them very conservatively at this vulnerable stage of their career.
When they show me they are ready to race, they will get the opportunity.
I have had a number of two-year-olds go through my program but not many have met my criteria to race just yet.
I see John Thompson trialed about 16 youngsters recently at Doomben. It looks like he has a couple of nice ones stepping out on Saturday so good luck to John and his team as the Patinack juggernaut rolls on!
I know a lot of owners get jittery when they see the Magic Millions on and it's a common question I get asked this time of year … where is my two-year-old?
Believe me, there have been a lot of two-year-olds pushed to get to the races this time of year and quite a few will have gone by the wayside!
Good luck to those who get there and congrats to the winners!
Until next time.Robert
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