The availability of leading apprentice Tiffani Brooker has swayed trainer Robert Heathcote to keep the in-form Hopfgarten in Brisbane.
Heathcote had intended to run Hopfgarten in the Filante Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
But after studying the initial nominations for the Open Handicap (1200m) at Doomben Heathcote decided to put in a late entry.
“I accepted in both places and he drew decent barriers at both centres. But I couldn’t get an apprentice in Sydney,” Heathcote said.
“(Apprentice) Emma Ljung did a good job winning at Hofpgarten at his last start but when I didn’t originally nominate Hopfgarten she took the ride on Helarocity,” Heathcote said.
“Then I found out Jag Guthmann-Chester had been booked for Sir Moments. But luckily I was told Tiffani didn’t have a ride so I quickly booked her.
“She is really a senior rider with a 1.5 kilo claim which means Hopfgarten will carry 60.5kg which is 1.5 kg more than he carried to win first-up.”
Heathcote said Hopfgarten’s summer mission remained the ATC Villiers Stakes-Bernborough Handicap double and a lead-up run in Sydney was still on the cards.
Heathcote has kept faith with Ljung, who was suspended for nine days at Ipswich on Wednesday, with the ride on Lordag in the Superior Pak Handicap (1630m).