Trainer Robert Heathcote completed a big week and in the process proved himself a top judge when Cool Chap won at Eagle Farm.
Heathcote missed last Saturday’s Sunshine Coast meeting after having a stent inserted in a coronary artery.
But he has been back at the track since Tuesday and was all smiles after Cool Chap ($2.25) beat Le Juge ($6) by 1 1/4 lengths in the Osmin Handicap (1800m).
“I can honestly say it is great to be here. It has been a big week but it is a nice way to finish things,” Heathcote said.
“I feel great and this win hasn’t done any harm.”
Heathcote predicted Cool Chap would win Saturday’s race after the gelding scored his first victory in two years at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.
“Horses really are funny. They can go 800 days without a win and then put two on end,” he said.
“But I always felt when he won one race he would string a few together.
“He has won $84,000 this campaign which is like winning a Listed or Group Three race.”
Cool Chap was a genuine stakes horse when originally trained in Melbourne and Heathcote thinks he is heading back that way.
“Here we are on the doorstep of the winter carnival and we did try him in stakes races last winter,” Heathcote said.
“So why wouldn’t we look at them again. I have always felt he has a good race left in him.”
Winning jockey Ryan Maloney picked up the ride when Robbie Fradd elected to ride stablemate Our Mantra who ran fourth.
“He did it pretty easily today and there is more there,” Maloney said.
Our Mantra loomed as the winner at the 200m but peaked on his run.
“He was second up today and will be suited over further next time,” Heathcote said.
Jockey Larry Cassidy said Le Juge was close to another win after finishing strongly.