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 💰: 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...

Watch 📺 Apprentice jockey cops massive ban for bad ride

South Australian jockey Stacey Metcalfe has received a two month suspension for her ride aboard Exalted Maxine at Murray Bridge on...

Zac Spain

G1 winning jockey fails breath test at Warrnambool

Group One winning jockey Zac Spain has been handed a one month suspension which will take effect immediately after he...

Watch 📺 Jockey stops riding and gets beat

Punters who backed Exalted Maxine at Murray Bridge on Wednesday will be furious of the ride of Stacey Metcalfe. Exalted...

Watch 📺 Jockey cops big fine for exuberant celebration

Who doesn’t love seeing sports people celebrate? All of us, right? Hmm, think again. The stewards at Warrnambool of Day...

5/5/2021 Horse Racing Tips and Best Bets – Warrnambool, Wangoom Handicap day

The Warrnambool Carnival continues on Wednesday, headlined by the ‘Newmarket Of The Bush’, the Wangoom (1200m). The weather is fine,...

Gold Medals

6/5/2021 Horse Racing Tips and Best Bets – Warrnambool, Warrnambool Cup day

The Warrnambool Carnival concludes on Thursday, headlined by the Warrnambool Cup (2350m) and the Grand Annual (5500m). The weather is...

Bizarre story behind jockeys eight year ban

It is the bizarre case of Daniel Jack Smith. Smith was disqualified for eight years after being found guilty of...

Trainer Neville Layt sadly passes away

Queanbeyan-based trainer Neville Layt sadly passed away on Tuesday afternoon after a battle with illness. Layt, 76, passed away at...

Victorian club lambasted for charging trainer

The Swan Hill Jockey Club has been lambasted on social media after their decision to charge, find guilty and sanction...

Whip rule comes under fire yet again

It is an old chestnut … but it keeps getting roasted. The race won by Real Sensation at Flemington on...

SA Derby

The , also known as the South Australian Derby, is a race held at in South Australia during the Adelaide Carnival...

AD Hollindale Stakes

The is a race held at in Queensland each year. The () boasts a total prize pool of and is...

Australian Bookmaker Reviews

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

Copyright © 2021 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.
18+ Don't let the game play you. Stay in control. Gamble responsibly. Think! About your choices. Call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 or visit or