Melbourne plans for Pinch River have been scrapped despite the sprinter breaking a 10-year-old class record at Doomben on Saturday.
Pinch River ($5) gave a display of sustained speed to beat his stablemate Treatmelikealady ($7.50) by four lengths in the St Margaret’s Girls School Handicap.
The gelding clocked 1min8.67secs which bettered the previous class record held by Son Of Dane since December, 2005.
Trainer Rob Heathcote had pencilled in a Melbourne trip for Pinch River but decided there would be a better target at the Magic Millions carnival in January.
“When you think about it why would we go to Melbourne with him for the second-tier races when he can run for one million dollars in the Magic Millions Cup?
“I have always felt he was a Group horse. He had no luck in the winter carnival and I convinced the owners to be patient and give him a break when he got beaten couple of times.
“It is all about confidence with horses. He showed today he can win from the front and he can also take a sit and run on,” Heathcote said.
Pinch River was the second leg of a double for Heathcote who also produced the impressive Lauterbrunnen to win the St Margaret’s P&F Association Handicap.
“Not many horses can win a 1600-metre race with 59 kilos. It was a good effort but I can put it down to another top ride from Glen Colless,” Heathcote said.
Heathcote has offered Colless the ride on Hopfgarten in the Group One Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 27.
“Glen is as good as anyone in Australia. He is just seeing what other commitments he might have before making a final decision,” Heathcote said.
Trainer Pat Duff paid tribute to farrier Peter O’Sullivan after Steel Zip ($4.40) beat Daph `N’ Alf ($13) by a short neck in the Programmed Property Handicap.
“We really reached the crossroads with this horse about six months ago because he just wasn’t stretching out. So we sent him to Peter O’Sullivan and he has done a great job with him,” Duff said.