Team Heathcote & Anderson to target Rocky Carnival

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By Darryn Nufer

THE men who yesterday announced they were joining forces to form Queensland’s most powerful racing stable are committed to a Rockhampton Winter Carnival assault this year.

Brisbane trainers Robert Heathcote (pictured) and Chris Anderson will bring some of the state’s biggest owners and best horses together under the new merger which is expected to be finalised around May.

The operation will boast a new-look set of racing colours and the good news for Capricornia racing is they’ll feature prominently during the Rockhampton Winter Carnival feature days – Newmarket Day on Friday, July 5 and Cup Day on Saturday, July 6.

“One of the main reasons for us forming this partnership is the fact that the landscape of racing is changing ever so much and the demands on the individual make it impossible to carry out your regular duties,” Heathcote said.

“Racing trips to Rocky, even further north, and certainly interstate to Sydney and Melbourne, certainly makes it more manageable when you have a partnership.

“Logistically it will make it much easier to support the Rocky Carnival with the two of us working together.

“We’ll definitely be coming up there with appropriate horses this year and in years to come.”

Heathcote, 59, has 10 Group One wins to his credit with the Queensland champion Buffering the most prominent of those while 44-year-old Anderson is considered one of Brisbane’s best young trainers.

Both Heathcote and Anderson individually have been big supporters of the Rocky Winter Carnival in recent years with Heathcote winning the Newmarket in 2016 with Lauterbrunnen.

Heathcote said the Rocky Cup prize money increase from $100,000 to $150,000 this year would see more trainers from the south-east target the 1600m feature.

“Without a doubt more trainers from down here will have a look at the Rocky Cup now,” Heathcote said.

“The attraction of the extra dollars for your Cup on that wonderful track you’ve got there is sure to entice a real quality field.”

Heathcote has 56 boxes at Eagle Farm and Anderson has 40 so together they will be a powerful alliance.

“Whilst jointly we’ll become a bigger stable I’m hoping it will allow more attention to detail and we can target specific races for specific horses,” Heathcote said.

CYS 3 & 4YO Championship entry conditions

A few people have asked whether there will be a ballot order released for the Capricornia Yearling Sale 3 & 4YO Championship to be run at Callaghan Park on Saturday, April 13.

The 1300m race is a Handicap event and entry will be ratings based.

2YO racing highlights St Pat’s Day meeting

Callaghan Park hosts eight TAB races today for the annual meeting of the St Patrick’s Day Race Club where great interest centres around the three events for the two-year-olds with many trying to qualify for next month’s Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic.

Significantly for Rockhampton Jockey Club members, they receive free course entry today upon presentation of their members’ cards which is a different arrangement to previous years.

Many local eyes will also be focused on racing at the Gold Coast where Rockhampton’s best three-year-olds, Gypsy Toff, Cyclone Topgirl and The Tax Accountant contest the $200,000 QTIS 3YO Jewel (1200m).

Racing back at headquarters

After today, racing returns to Callaghan Park on March 28.


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