Trainer Robert Heathcote is ignoring public pressure while deciding whether to commit Rothfire to the Golden Slipper.
Rothfire made it four wins from four starts with an effortless win in Saturday’s Two-Year-Old The Jewel Prelude at Doomben.
Queensland has lacked genuine star power in recent years but Saturday’s Australian Guineas winner Alligator Blood and the emerging Rothfire have ignited public passion.
The Golden Slipper has not been a happy hunting ground for Queensland horses with Calaway Gal (2003) and Phelan Ready (2009) the state’s only winners.
But there is growing excitement Rothfire could represent the state in the 2020 Golden Slipper.
The problem is the gelding is not nominated for the Slipper and connections will need to pay the late entry fee.
Heathcote is adamant Rothfire will run in the $500,000 The Jewel at the Gold Coast on March 14, a week before the Slipper.
The trainer understands the lure of the Slipper but is used to pressure having trained seven-time Group One winning sprinter Buffering.
Heathcote has made no secret of his opinion of Rothfire.
“As I’ve openly said he’s doing things as a two-year-old that Buffering couldn’t do, ” Heathcote said.
“He’s so clam and relaxed and he does everything seemingly effortlessly. But he slingshots out of the barriers and travels so I see no problem with the 1200 metres.
“As for the Golden Slipper, I’ll sit down with my owners and we’ll make a decision soon.”
Rothfire has firmed to $15 for the Slipper on the strength of his latest win.
Jockey Robbie Fradd, an international rider, is also a Rothfire fan.
“When he jumps he has a length on them already. He just free rolls out in front,” Fradd said.
“He’s always been well clear inside the hundred metres but when something challenges him, I think you’re going to see even more.”