Heathcote’s Classy Stayer To Be Left Simmering

He looks like a genuine staying prospect but Simmering is unlikely to be part of Robert Heathcote’s spring invasion in 2011.

While the likes of the Caufield Cup and Melbourne Cup may be a bit beyond him right now, if you believe the word around this horse they may not be over the next few years.

Simmering was promoted to middle distance for the first time in his career at Doomben and he blew the field away in impressive fashion.

Running across 2112m at Eagle Farm he kicked nicely a couple of furlongs from home and gapped them in the closing stages.

Hetahcote’s relationship with the horse began earlier in the year when his Victorian contact informed him of an exciting prospect in the form of an unraced kiwi two-year-old.

“I agreed to have a look and after a few weeks I agreed to buy him for a six-figure sum,” Heathcote said.

“It was Simmering and I recommended him to some of my stable clients.

“Everything was going rosy. He started to shape up nicely. I put him in a barrier trial and he did nothing. I was shattered. I crawled home.”

The trial in question was an 800m assignment towards the end of 2010, he beat only one horse home in the field of eight.

Heathcote responded but putting him out in the paddock with a plan of ‘wait and hope’ more than anything.

It paid off though, he made a return at the start of this year and in combination with a set of blinkers he was a whole new horse.

Across a 1200m Eagle Farm maiden in February Simmering beat his nearest rival by a full four lengths.

Encouraged by the manner of his win Heathcote decided to seek a longer trip with the Queensland Derby well and truly on the radar.

Things didn’t pan out that way though, the horse suffering a foot abscess and needed an extended break on the sidelines.

He did make it back in time for the major Sunshine Coast meeting, he came home sixth in the Sunshine Coast Guineas over a mile, that run signalling it was time to really find out about his staying potential.

In just his eighth career start Simmering took to the Doomben track and picked up a perfect position just behind the leaders.

With 500m to go he was steered clear and Heathcote would have loved what he saw as he ran on strongly to the line.

There will be plenty of people following his progress in Australia as he represents a relatively unknown sire.

Postponed was a United States racehorse before being imported to a New Zealand stud.

He began serving in 2002 and his progeny is starting to make its mark with two Group 1 wins already to his name.

Heathcote is currently drawing up his Melbourne spring carnival plans and at this stage it looks like six or seven will make the cut.

Simmering isn’t expected to be among them unless he were to show something miraculous at his next start.

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