Owners of veteran galloper Cool Chap had to wait more than two years between his most recent wins but trainer Robert Heathcote believes his next victory is only two weeks away.
Cool Chap ($3.10) ended a frustrating run of placings when he finished strongly to beat New Universe ($4.40) by three-quarters of a length, with a long neck to Cruze, the $2.25 favourite, in the Roku Gin Open Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The gelding’s previous win was 838 days prior in a handicap at Caulfield in October 2017.
Cool Chap displayed talent as a stayer as a younger horse winning the 2016 VRC St Leger and running third in that year’s South Australian Derby.
He continued to race well in top company but when it was clear he was struggling to win again, syndicate head Rob Slade sent him north to Heathcote at Eagle Farm.
Cool Gent performed consistently for Heathcote but a win had proven elusive until Saturday.
“We even took him to Rockhampton and Mackay looking for a win,” Heathcote said.
“Things just haven’t been going his way. But he went through the $800,000 mark in prize money today and that isn’t to be sneezed at.”
Jockey Robbie Fradd continued his winning run for Heathcote on Cool Chap.
“I have had some luck for Rob in the past few months and his stable is going well,” Fradd said.
Heathcote said Cool Chap would press on to an 1800m race at Eagle Farm in a fortnight.
“It might have been 800 days between wins this time but it will only be two weeks to the next,” Heathcote said.
Chris Waller’s Queensland manager, Paul Shailer, said New Universe had shown he was on the road back to another win.
Heathcote made it a treble when Roasted ($9.50) won the Cascade Three-Year-Old Fillies Handicap (1200m).
He trains the filly for long time supporters, Canberra-based owner-breeders Sam and Jim Douros.
“They have been with me a long time and I actually trained this filly’s dam Princess Qualo for them,” Heathcote said.
“You know you are getting old when you start training families of winners.
“Roasted is a very nice filly and she will get even better.”
Heathcote was also successful earlier in the day with in-form sprinter Emerald Kingdom.