The China Horse Club syndicate had a major change of luck when promising three-year-old Olympic Anthem made a sensational return to racing on Wednesday.
Having his first start since December, Olympic Anthem ($2.50) produced a storming run from last on the home turn to win the Goulburn Valley Handicap (1030m).
Trainer Rob Heathcote declared Olympic Anthem a future Group-class winner and confirmed he would be set for the Queensland Guineas (1400m) on May 31.
“I am really pleased for his owners the China Horse Club because they gave me a $320,000 yearling to train for them recently but we had to put it down,” Heathcote said.
Olympic Anthem provided the second leg of a winning double for Heathcote after an earlier victory by Larimus ($19) for owner Dato Tan Chin Nam.
Heathcote has had success with several horses for the prominent racing identity who has owned the winners of four Melbourne Cups, three Cox Plates and a Caulfield Cup.
While Larimus is not in that league, Heathcote did receive a phone message to say Dato Tan was thrilled with the maiden win.
Dato Tan stands Larimus’ sire Prince Arthur, a stakes-winning Danehill stallion, at Think Big Stud in NSW.
“They are keen to win some city races with Prince Arthur’s progeny so they sent Larimus to us hoping to win a metropolitan race,” Heathcote said.
The trainer also received good news earlier this week about Group One star Buffering who won a jump-out by 10 lengths at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.
Buffering is being readied for the Group One T J Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 12.
Stablemate Solzhenitsyn also had a jump-out and pleased Heathcote at his first hit-out since he underwent a throat operation.
Meanwhile, apprentice Priscilla Schmidt is under increasing pressure to reverse her decision to base herself at the NSW mid north coast town of Port Macquarie from May.
She won on Empress Me ($2.50) in Wednesday’s Sirromet Handicap (1650m) to give notch her 14th winner this season.
Schmidt has had a great run of success with Empress Me’s trainer Steve O’Dea.
“I keep telling her she should stay but she isn’t taking much notice,” O’Dea said.