Trainer Gillian Heinrich believes the tide has finally turned and is hopeful General Shareef can continue her stable’s recent good fortune at Doomben.
Heinrich’s stable hit a major slump shortly after she culled her numbers by half six months ago.
She retired several of her best performers including Ghetto Blaster, Tour Guide and Rasmussen and sold last year’s Magic Millions winner Military Rose at the national broodmare sales in June.
All up, Heinrich culled 30 of her stable of 55 but has steadily grown the numbers back to 43 in work, including 21 two-year-olds.
General Shareef, who contests Wednesday’s Mater Dei School Handicap (1200m), is one of three Heinrich runners at Doomben.
Left Standing will tackle the Carlton Mid Handicap (1350m) while Rock Beauty will make her debut in the Channel Seven Maiden Plate (1110m).
Heinrich is confident her new stable can continue its recent resurgence after landing eight winners since the start of September.
“We had a terribly lean trot there for quite a while but you have to expect those sort of things to happen when you cull your stable in half,” Heinrich said.
“I’ve won a few races lately and I think the tide has turned. We’re back.”
Heinrich rates General Shareef as the best of her stable trio despite the four-year-old taking on the highly-promising Bribie.
General Shareef failed to qualify for last year’s Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast and only ran ninth to Paris Blue in the consolation, the Magic Millions National Plate over the same distance.
Heinrich gave the son of General Nediym a year off to mature and the gelding has shown the benefits of the break by winning his only two starts at Caloundra and the Gold Coast this campaign.
“He had a couple of niggling problems around Magic Millions time so I tipped him out for a long break as a two-year-old,” Heinrich said.
“He’s a General Nediym and normally they run as two-year-olds and a lot don’t go on after that.
“But he’s different for some reason and I’m not sure why.
“He needed time to mature and has come back big and strong and he was quite impressive winning his two runs back.
“I’ve always liked him and I knew he had a lot of ability but it’s been a matter of getting it out of him.”
Heinrich conceded General Shareef faced a daunting task from the outside barrier, nine, against Bribie who followed up an impressive maiden victory at Doomben last month with a classy display to easily win in Class 1 company at Caloundra on October 2.
“It’s a hard race and I don’t like his barrier but he’ll be very competitive,” she said.