Patience pays off for Rob Heathcote as New Zealand stayer Grobbelaar wins on the Gold Coast

Grobbelaar won Class 1 Sprintquip Handicap (1400m) on the Gold Coast on Saturday, September 17. Picture credit: Jessica Hawkins, Trackside Photography.


ROB Heathcote’s patience with New Zealand stayer Grobbelaar looks set to pay off after the gelding broke through for the second win of its career on Saturday at the Gold Coast.

Grobbelaar won Class 1 Sprintquip Handicap (1400m) in the 23rd run of his career and the first race of this preparation to finally convince Heathcote he was ready to produce.

“It was a pleasant surprise. He is clearly going to be better when he’s over a further distance,” Heathcote said.

“But it’s always nice when the stayers can win first-up.

“It generally promises for a good preparation.”

Heathcote conceded Grobbelaar had been disappointing to date but was not expecting bigger things from the five-year-old gelding.

“We have always thought the horse had a reasonable share of ability but he has been disappointing up to now,” Heathcote said.

“We always expected him to get better as he got older. It was just maturity more than anything holding him back.”

Heathcote purchased Grobbelaar from the 2013 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale with the desire to increase the number of stayers in his stable.

It came a year he purchased fellow stayer Kaiser Franz, a six-year-old gelding that has won six from 28 starts, from across the Tasman.

“We bought him with an eye to get a couple of horses in my stable with some New Zealand pedigree in them,” Heathcote said.

“I was just trying to get something different and was looking for that edge.”

Heathcote will now look to run Gobbelaar in a Class 2 1600m race in around two weeks at Caloundra as he works his way up to getting the galloper to its ideal distance of 2200m.

“We will go to a 1600m and then look for a nice 2000m race for him somewhere.”


Story courtesy Tom Boswell  Gold Coast Bulletin


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