Leading Brisbane trainer Rob Heathcote concedes talented mare Funtantes faces a huge task in Saturday’s The Pink Ribbon Race For Research Quality at Doomben.
Heathcote is concerned Funtantes has to carry topweight of 59 kilograms over 1350m, a distance at which she is yet to win.
However, with few other options Heathcote decided to press ahead with a start.
“She won with 58kg last start, but this is a Quality,” Heathcote said.
“It’s a decent impost and a big weight for any horse to have to carry and win.
“She’s not a big mare and doesn’t have a good record over this distance and I’m not confident by any means, it’s going to be tough for her to win.”
The Easy Rocking mare was an impressive winner earlier this month at Doomben over 1200m.
Provided the five-year-old performs well, Heathcote is likely to send her to Melbourne to join last-start winners Woorim and Buffering.
The premiership-winning trainer will chase his first Group One win with Woorim in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
“It’s really a case of having to run Funtantes at Doomben because there is nothing else on for her,” Heathcote said.
“I’ll probably have to travel her south because good horses in Brisbane get weighted out and there might be some better options there.”
Funtantes drew poorly in gate seven in the eight-horse field, but her pattern of racing is to get back.
She should be suited as trainer Barry Baldwin indicated another last-start winner, Paris Blu, would again attempt to lead all the way.
Baldwin said Paris Blu was facing her toughest task, but agreed with Heathcote that weight could work against the likely favourite.
Four-year-old Paris Blue won over 1350m at Doomben by 2-1/4 lengths on September 10.
“My mare is racing well and weight has to catch up with Funtantes at some stage,” Baldwin said.
“She’ll be going to the front again and if we can get a soft lead, we expect her to race very well again.”
Trainer Michael Lakey is hoping promising mare Risk Aversion can remain unbeaten this preparation in the Quality.
She also steps up in grade but the Encosta De Lago four-year-old should be suited by the longer journey.
She won well over 1030m first-up at Doomben last month and over 1200m at Eagle Farm last start, coming from well back on both occasions.
Lakey said he doubted the mare would be sent to Melbourne for the spring and may give her a short break after Saturday’s race.
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