Best Odds with Top Tote+ and Bet Back Offers!
Register at Australia's #1 Online Bookmaker!
Back A Winner!
Sign-Up to Australia's Fastest Growing Online Bookmaker!
Back Yourself!
Sign-up and start betting with Ladbrokes in 2 minutes!
Best Of The Best Odds!
Bet With Palmerbet and get Paid Top Fluc or Top Tote!
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Image: Steve Hart
Rothfire will be out to established himself among the best of his generation

Robert Heathcote has almost lived two lives and both of them have been extraordinary.

Leaving Australia for Europe in his early 20s, he spent 15 years working for major international travel companies, staying in hotels on the Grand Canal in Venice and losing himself in the back streets of Rome.

Following a stay with his UK-based brother Wayne, who he credits for his interest in racing, Heathcote returned to Australia to manage his sibling’s bloodstock interests.

Market πŸ’°: View the Odds for the Golden Rose

“After six months I said, ‘Wayne, give me a go at this training caper’,” Heathcote said.

“So then I read a few books. I never learned from another trainer, I had no knowledge of horses and away we went.

“I have been lucky because 15 years travelling and then I got into racing, so I have had two labours of love my whole life.”

Despite having no previous experience with horses, Heathcote has gone on to become one of Queensland’s most successful trainers, his best galloper the outstanding Buffering who won seven Group One races.

He never thought he would get another horse as good, then along came Rothfire.

An odds-on favourite for Saturday’s $1 million Golden Rose, the Heathcote-Rothfire story was almost over before it started.

The trainer bought him sight unseen because he liked Rothfire’s sire, Rothesay, and at $11,000 the horse was cheap.

But Heathcote’s payment was intercepted by a Nigerian phishing scam and couldn’t be recovered, so he had to fork out again.

“I paid $22,000 for ‘Buff’ and I paid $11,000 for Rothfire but I had to pay it twice. Oddly enough, they both ended up costing the same,” Heathcote said.

Rothfire has since established himself among the best of his generation, winning seven of his eight starts and more than $850,000.

He has also been snapped up for a slot in the $15 million The Everest.

Heathcote is bullish about the three-year-old’s chances in both races but it is the Golden Rose that holds most immediacy.

Despite his short odds and a Group One win over 1400 metres, there is a theory some of Rothfire’s rivals will be better suited than him over the Golden Rose distance.

Heathcote does not share that view.

“I’ve got news for them, so too is Rothfire because I actually believe he is a better 1400 metre horse than he probably is a 1200 metre horse,” he said.

“In the J J Atkins, he might not have beaten a stellar field of two-year-olds but it’s how he did it. He sat on a hot speed and he sprinted away and ran a very comparable time to the open horses in the Stradbroke 30 minutes later.”

Heathcote might not have grown up with thoroughbreds but his time as a student of the world has prepared him well for his next chapter as a horse trainer.

He sees his journey with Rothfire as another adventure and takes none of it for granted.

“It’s been a fun ride for a little cheapie. He is already a Group One winner and a dual Group Two winner and we’re going in at tomato sauce odds for another Group One on Saturday, so it’s pinch yourself stuff for me.”

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
Featured News

Free Racing Bonus Bets and Offers

We take a look at the BIGGEST and BEST Free Daily Racing Offers and Betting Promotions from Australia’s leading online...

Star International raider dies following injury

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Wichita has has sadly died at Macedon Lodge after suffering a complication while recovering from surgery. Wichita...

Racing Victoria to investigate Werribee death

Racing Victoria will conduct an inquiry into the death of International horse Involved who died whilst at the Werribee International...

Likely Melbourne Cup Field – 2020

The 2020 Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday, November 3rd (3/11/2020) at Flemington and the field is taking shape...

Cox Plate results and replay – 2020

View the results and replay for the 2020 Cox Plate. The Cox Plate was raced at Moonee Valley racecourse on...

Punter turns $60 racing multi into $282,861

After waiting for seven weeks, one TAB punter has celebrated today’s racing at Randwick and Caulfield after collecting $282,861.60 from...

Watch πŸ“Ί Swooping magpie gets KO’d

At Doomben this afternoon one of the most bizarre things we have seen on the race track happened. A magpie...

Watch πŸ“Ί ‘Dickhead’ golfers in a near miss at Ellerslie

A pair of golfers have had been left red-faced after narrowly avoiding being trampled during the Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m)...

Champion mare Winx loses foal

Champion mare Winx has tragically lost her first foal, a filly by super sire I Am Invincible. Trainer Chris Waller...

Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup always approaches fast, with the 2020 edition commencing at 3pm, Tuesday 3rd November. The race that stops...

The Golden Eagle

Β is Australia’s second richest race in Australia behind The Everest as well as the third richest turf race in the...

Victoria Derby

The is a staying race and is the premier race for three year old stayers during the Melbourne Spring Racing...

Coolmore Stud Stakes

The Coolmore Stud Stakes is a Group l sprint distance race and is fast becoming one of the big highlights...

Australian Bookmaker Reviews

Which bookmaker should you bet with? We Review each of the leading online Australian Bookmakers and rate them in order...

Copyright © 2020 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.