The moment of truth
is about to arrive for trainer Rob Heathcote's highly promising Solzhenitsyn
who makes his comeback in the Hanrick Curran Open Handicap at Doomben
Solzhenitsyn earned a nomination for next month's G1 Cox Plate at Moonee
Valley following a hat-trick of wins during the Brisbane winter carnival including
the G3 Lord Mayor's Cup (1615m) at Doomben.
started since his brilliant victory in the Listed Strawberry Road Handicap
(1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 but Heathcote is delighted with the
six-year-old's progress since returning from a spell.
"Solzhie is a
genuine winning chance although I will use the old racing cliché and say he
will be better for the run," Heathcote said.
Heathcote has some concerns with Solzhenitsyn's topweight of 59
kilograms over the 1350-metre trip and originally planned to use three kilogram claiming apprentice,
However, the highly rated Allen has been sidelined with a bout of 'flu
which has prompted Heathcote to engage senior rider Damian Browne.
"Solzhenitsyn's wins during the
winter showed his real potential and he's coming to hand just as I had hoped,"
"He's got 59
kilos on Saturday and it's a lot of weight.
"Initially I wanted to claim on him but I've gone for Damien
Browne who will ride him for the first time.
"He'll go to
Melbourne after this run and run in the Sir Rupert Clarke at Caulfield which is
a Group 1 race and I'm sure he'll be competitive.
Solzhenitsyn will be joined in Melbourne by stable star Buffering who
will make his comeback in the G2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October
15 and Excellantes.
Excellantes convinced Heathcote he was
worthy of a trip interstate following his impressive victory in the Listed Chief
De Beers (1110m) at Doomben in late May.
Buffering and Excellantes are likely to have an exhibition gallop
between races at Doomben on Saturday week.
Excellantes is likely to make his Melbourne debut in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes
down the Flemington straight six on Saturday week.
Meanwhile Heathcote is looking for a competitive showing from
Excellantes' young brother Khaantantes who will run in the Ormiston College
Redback Handicap (1110m).
Khaantantes recorded a narrow win
in maiden company at Doomben on August 8 before a disappointing 11th to Grayson
Square over 1200 metres at Doomben on August 25.
should be forgiven for his last run failure although the Schweida horse, Better
Than Ready, does look an imposing hurdle to overcome," Heathcote said.
Racing Queensland webnews September 6
Photo: Trackside Photography