Talented mare Fillydelphia will need to produce something extra special in her comeback at Eagle Farm to convince trainer Rob Heathcote to send her to Melbourne.
Fillydelphia will have her first start since her Group One Queensland Oaks failure at Eagle Farm in June in Saturday’s Australian Financial Advisers Quality Handicap (1300m).
The four-year-old, who finished seventh to star Kiwi filly Scarlett Lady in the Oaks, will be ridden by the in-form Jim Byrne.
Heathcote is concerned the weights heavily favour Toowoomba sprinter Listen Son who has only three kilograms more than Fillydelphia in his first start since July.
“I really feel Listen Son is pitchforked into this race with only 56 kilos,” Heathcote said.
“Fillydelphia hasn’t got a brilliant first-up record and she’ll probably need this run.
“I’m expecting her to run well but she’ll need to if she’s to earn a trip to Melbourne.”
Heathcote believes Fillydelphia, who has won five of her 16 starts, will be just as well served by staying at home instead of chasing spring spoils in Melbourne.
“I don’t go out of my backyard unless I have to,” Heathcote said.
“This race is worth more than $50,000 to the winner on Saturday and there’s another one of these types of Quality races coming up in two weeks.
“They aren’t as hard to win as the good fillies and mares races in Melbourne and the prizemoney isn’t that far inferior.”
Heathcote has no doubt Listen Son is the one to beat despite an absence of more than three months since finishing 12th to Woorim in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at Caloundra on July 2.
“Listen Son is clearly the standout and Poor Judge, who has to carry a good horse’s weight with 59 kilos, showed a glimpse of his best form last start,” Heathcote said.
Poor Judge had his third start this campaign in a 1200-metre Open at Eagle Farm last Saturday, finishing sixth to top sprinter Falino.
Listen Son’s trainer Tony Gollan has pencilled in a Melbourne campaign for the five-year-old if he races up to expectations.
The Group Three Tabcorp Stakes over 1400m at Flemington on Derby Day is the spring target for Listen Son.