Robert Heathcote says a change of racing pattern gives Funtantes her best chance of overcoming a distance doubt at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Funtantes lines up in the Thoroughbred Breeders Handicap over 1300m striving to improve on 10 unsuccessful attempts in races beyond 1200m.
“She’s never been truly competitive or at her best past 1200 metres but I think her new-found racing style is helping her hit the line a lot stronger,” he said.
“We’ve been riding her quiet at her past three runs and with only 55.5 kilos to carry after Janette Johnson’s claim I think she can get the 1300 metres if circumstances allow.”
Funtantes could be racing for the final time on Saturday.
“She’s obviously racing well but we’re undergoing a breeding program and at the moment she’s out of cycle,” he said.
“Until she’s ready to breed we’ll keep racing her. As soon as she’s in season, off she’ll go to stud.”
Heathcote said Funtantes would be covered by Rothesay, a son of Fastnet Rock who won the 2010 Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m).
“She’s got a nature to die for and she’s probably the most loved horse in the stable,” Heathcote said.
“She’s kind and you can do anything with her.”
Last-start midweek winner Bevico Girl and Big Decision are other leading chances for Heathcote on Saturday.
Heathcote said Bevico Girl’s chances usually depend on her mood on raceday.
“She can be somewhat temperamental but when she won the other day at Eagle Farm it was the most relaxed she’s been in the tie-up stall and when she paraded for quite some time,” he said.
Heathcote says Big Decision needs a strong tempo because he is a backmarker.
“There looks a ton of speed on paper and if we ride him nice and cold he’ll be strong at the finish,” he said.