Racing: Trainer overjoyed

Photo / Wayne Drought
Photo / Wayne Drought

A late change of plans and a horse who "can do almost anything" have given Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote his greatest day at the races and upset one of the stars of the Australian turf.

Solzhenitsyn, a horse who cost a mere $10,000, stormed to a long neck victory in the Toorak Hcp (1600m) on Saturday.

As much as Solzhenitsyn deserved his victory, the sentiment in the race rode with the favourite, More Joyous.

But the weight (60kg) and a wide early run told and she faded to fourth, three lengths from the winner.

Solzhenitsyn ($5) carried 8kg less than More Joyous, as did runner-up Spirit Song ($21), while third placegetter Yosei ($14) received 7.5kg from the topweight.

Heathcote had originally planned to push forward, but changed his mind after consulting part-owner Paul Willetts, the man who bought Solzhenitsyn as a weanling.

The tactic made all the difference, with Solzhenitsyn cruising in midfield as More Joyous worked hard in the first 300m and then had to chase hard coming to the home turn.

Jockey Corey Brown then produced the winner at the 200m mark just as the effort told on More Joyous.

He then finished over the top of Spirit Song to score by a long neck, with the same margin to Yosei.

Nash Rawiller was far from downcast about More Joyous' defeat.

"When the pace come off I was forced to go around them and sit outside the lead, which she can normally overcome quite easily, but it was pretty testy out there today with the big weight," he said.

- AAP

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