Battle-scarred veteran Excellantes has bounced back from a near disastrous fall to take his place at Doomben.
Excellantes was heavily backed to win an open handicap at the Sunshine Coast two weeks ago but parted company with apprentice Alysha Collet just after the start.
However, things didn’t stop there with Excellantes leading the field riderless for the next 1200m.
After the race he then ran up a chute and crashed into a fence.
Trainer Rob Heathcote initially feared the worst for one of his favourite horses.
Excellantes suffered abrasions to his head and neck area but Heathcote said his years of experience saved him from further injury.
“He is an old experienced horse and he lay still once he crashed. I’m sure it would have been far worse had he thrashed about and tried to get up by himself,” Heathcote said.”
“The vets have been all over him and given him the all clear.”
Apprentice Matt McGuren replaces Collet on Excellantes in Saturday’s Girls Day Out Open Handicap at Doomben where Excellantes has recorded five of 10 wins with two of them at 1200m.
“Matt should suit him and Excellantes will get in with 57 kilos with Matt’s claim. He is pretty well in at the weights but he is drawn off the track,” Heathcote said.
Only heavy rain will prevent Excellantes from starting as he is not a noted wet track horse.
Meanwhile, Heathcote will saddle up an interesting first starter in Privlaka in the Mitavite Two-Year-Old (1110m).
Heathcote has had a lot of luck with Privlaka’s sire Mossman whose progeny include multiple Group One winner Buffering.
“Jim Byrne has ridden Privlaka in a couple of jump-outs and likes him,” Heathcote said.
“But he is drawn off the track so he will need some luck to win.”
“We will probably spell him after this run and look at races later in the year for him.”