Solzhenitsyn will likely make an appearance in the Listed Strawberry Road Handicap at Eagle Farm this Saturday instead of the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap.


Solzhenitsyn is likely to run in the Strawberry Road Handicap at Eagle Farm - photo © Daniel Costello

The St Petersburg gelding is currently the fourth emergency for the race and is not expected to gain a start.

Trainer Robert Heathcote is not troubled by Solzhenitsyn’s position in the Stradbroke Handicap order of entry and believes he would be perfectly suited to the Strawberry Road Handicap on the same day.

“He’s not going to sneak in (to the Stradbroke) but I’m not overly disappointed,” Heathcote said.

“At the end of the day his day in the sun will come.

“The connections are not going to be disappointed. If we get in great, we’re going to accept, but if we don’t we run in the listed mile where I think he’s going to be nearly a good thing.

“It’ll be a big weekend win, lose or draw, we’ll have a drink no matter what happens.”

Heathcote has always had a high opinion of Solzhenitsyn, who has won his past two race starts.

The gelding has not missed a spot in the placings in any of his four starts this campaign, demonstrating his raw talent and ability.

The most recent victory came in the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup, which he won by a length in front of Firebolt.

“When I first got him I knew he was going to be a good horse,” Heathcote said.

No-matter the result this weekend, Solzhenitsyn will be sent for a spell after the race in preparation for a spring carnival campaign in Melbourne.

“We’re going to spell him and take him down to Melbourne for the spring,” Heathcote said,

The five-year-old gelding has won eight of his 20 race starts and has earned more than $230,000 in prize money during his career.


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