Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn is building steadily towards his autumn/winter campaign which will kick off in Sydney.
Trainer Robert Heathcote said Solzhenitsyn would have three starts in Sydney before returning home to Queensland for the winter carnival.
“He’ll kick off in the Canterbury Stakes over 1300 metres at Rosehill then a fortnight later he’ll run in the George Ryder which will be his final lead-up to the Doncaster,” he said.
“This will be his third week back in the stable and he looks really well since his spell.”
Solzhenitsyn became Heathcote’s second Group One winner when he triumphed in last year’s Toorak Handicap and ended his Melbourne campaign with a creditable sixth in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington.
The gelding’s Sydney program is identical to the one being planned for Emirates winner Happy Trails.
The Canterbury Stakes on March 23 is followed at two week intervals by the Group One George Ryder (1500m) and the Doncaster Mile.
Queensland carnival goals for Solzhenitsyn following his Sydney campaign will be the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast on May 4, a fortnight before the Doomben Cup.
His stablemate Woorim, who missed the spring carnival because of a tendon injury, is well advanced in his campaign as he aims for back-to-back wins in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on February 23.
“I might give him a couple of exhibition gallops here before he goes to Melbourne,” Heathcote said.
“After the Oakleigh Plate he’ll run in the Newmarket then I’d like to bring him back here and target the Stradbroke which is the perfect race for him.”
Multiple Group One placegetter Buffering will return to Heathcote’s stables at the end of this month and will resume in the Group One TJ Smith at Randwick on April 13.
Heathcote has ruled out another Stradbroke attempt for Buffering who was a brave second, carrying topweight of 58.5 kilograms, to Mid Summer Music in last year’s event.
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