Heartache 'showing right signs' for step up to six furlongs in Cheveley Park
Royal Ascot and Flying Childers winner Heartache will have one more start this season, with trainer Clive Cox confirming she will step up to six furlongs for the first time in Saturday's Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.
The Queen Mary winner bounced back from a disappointing third when not quite right in the Prix Robert Papin with a cosy half-length defeat of Havana Grey at Doncaster, and with two Group 2 wins already The Hot To Trot Syndicate are raising their sights.
“At this stage we’re very happy and she’ll definitely run,” said Cox. “We’d be much happier if they got less rain rather than more.
"She’s come back from the Flying Childers very well. This is a step up to six furlongs, and it’ll be only a couple of weeks after Doncaster, but she’s showing us all the right signs.”
On the extra distance, and whether victory could bring the Qipco 1,000 Guineas into consideration next season, he added: “I very much hope the extra furlong is within her compass. She’s enjoyed a wonderful season and she’s developed physically throughout the year and I hope she can make the step up to six.
“Having trained her dam, she was very fast, so I'd be more inclined to think she’s a very high-class sprinting filly rather than a potential miler.”
The Dean Ivory-trained Eirene was added to the Cheveley Park field at a cost of £16,000 and, despite her having gone down by a neck in the Group 3 Dick Poole Fillies' Stakes at Salisbury last time, Ivory is optimistic of delivering further big-race success for the Stewards' Cup-winning owners of Lancelot Du Lac.
“You've only to look at her last couple of runs – she's good enough to take her chance,” said Ivory.
“She's in good form, she was second in a Group race last time and should have won it. The ground wasn't soft enough and we made our move a little too soon.
"She won her Listed race easily and was second to a very good horse in Sands Of Mali – he's franked the form and we were giving weight away that day, so I think we've got to take our chance."
He added: “I'm happy with six furlongs. We'd like a bit of cut in the ground and the Rowley Mile isn't everyone's track, but she's quite a close-coupled filly – she isn't all legs everywhere. She's close to the ground and is well put together so I'd like to think she stands as good a chance as most.”
The 4lb penalty picked up by the Balding-trained Brorocco for winning at Newbury last Saturday almost certainly guarantees him a run in the Betfred Cambrigeshire, for which he is now 36th in the list – the safety limit is 35, and 77 entries remain after Monday's forfeit stage.
The going at Newmarket was good on Monday, with no rain forecast until Wednesday evening.
Clerk of the course Michael Prosser said: "We're expecting two fronts, with current timings suggesting one will get here Wednesday night into Thursday morning and one Friday afternoon into Friday evening.
"If that's correct we'll not be on the fast side as any rain will move us back to the slow side."
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