Heathcote produces Derby chance for Dato

Trainer Robert Heathcote believes he can cement his association with one of the world’s most respected owners by winning the Group One Queensland Derby with Gid Up Strop.

The gelding was bred at Dato Tan Chin Nam’s Think Big Stud and races in the colours made famous by champions such as So You Think, Saintly and Viewed.

Heathcote’s confidence he can win the Derby was boosted by Gid Up Strop’s victory over 1630 metres at Doomben on Saturday.

“This has always been our Queensland Derby horse,” Heathcote said.

“Gid Up Strop has always indicated he would be a stayer right from his maiden win at the Sunshine Coast last year.”

“I had a talk with Duncan Ramage (Dato Tan’s racing manager) and we mapped out a plan for the Derby.

“This year it is 2200 metres around Doomben but he has won at the track now,” Heathcote said.

Heathcote said Gid Up Strop was a nice type of horse who was bred to be a stayer.

“He is by Think Big Stud’s sire Pendragon and a win in a Group One race would obviously be a great boost for the stallion,” he said.

“Gid Up Strop is not unlike the great So You Think in looks and he carries those famous race day colours. Maybe the luck will rub off.”

Heathcote’s association with Think Big goes back about three years with That’s Karma and Tale Of The Dragon.

The news wasn’t so good for Punta Norte who Heathcote had also hoped would be a Queensland Derby horse.

Punta Norte ran last behind Gid Up Strop and will now be spelled.


Story courtesy Mark Oberhardt  http://www.aapmegaform.com.au


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