Robert Heathcote has continued his running banter with handicappers by declaring rival Stratum Star well-placed in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast.
Heathcote is still upset Hopfgarten was given 60.5kg and ran unplaced in the Listed Spear Chief Hcp (1500m) at Eagle Farm last week.
Heathcote will saddle Saluter, who has 54.5kg, against Stratum Star, who has the top weight of 61kg, in Saturday’s Listed Glasshouse (1400m).
“The Glasshouse is a quality with a set top weight of 61kg so Stratum Star had to get that,”Heathcote said.
“But he would have got 62.5kg in a handicap which means as a Group One winner he is well in a Listed race,” Heathcote said.
“But I am not having a go at Stratum Star or his connections, good luck to them.
“What I am saying is that Queensland horses are badly off under the rating system. The reason is we are rated on our performances against each other and not against the Sydney and Melbourne horses.”
Heathcote said it meant Queensland horses went up quicker in the ratings but were racing for less prizemoney and generally against weaker horses.
“Hopfgarten was penalised for winning a Listed race at the Sunshine Coast against other Queensland horses which was worth $60,000 to the winner,” Heathcote said.
He said it would be interesting to see if Stratum Star could carry 61kg and win on Saturday.
“Weight will stop a train and it is as simple as that. But Stratum Star is a good weight carrier so he does look well-placed against the local horses,” he said.
Stratum Star, a last-start third in the Group Two QTC Cup, won the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over Saturday’s distance of 1400m last September.
Heathcote said Saluter would be fitter for his second in the Group Three Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm last Saturday but faced a task to beat Stratum Star at the compressed weights.
Meanwhile, New Zealand trainer Tony Pike hopes to finish his winter on a high with Sacred Star in the Glasshouse.
Sacred Star surprised even Pike with his fifth in the Stradbroke Handicap on June 11.
“I thought he was just a rough show in the Stradbroke so it was a good run and he is enjoying the Brisbane winter,” Pike said.
The trainer celebrated his biggest race day at the Stradbroke meeting with a Group One double when Sacred Elixir won the J J Atkins and Provocative claimed the Queensland Oaks.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au