Rothfire’s Moir Stakes rivals come from within

Rothfire’s Moir Stakes rivals come from within

Rothfire’s biggest danger doesn’t come from spruik filly Coolangatta or Godolphin gun Paulele in Friday night’s Group 1 Moir Stakes, they come from within, trainer Rob Heathcote believes.

The multiple Group 1-winning trainer says Rothfire’s biggest threat in the $1m scamper at Moonee Valley comes from fellow Queenslander Zoustyle.

Heathcote, a three-time winner of the race thanks to his sprinting marvel Buffering, has a spring in his step returning to Melbourne again and is buoyed by the fact he has a leading hope in the market.

Having taken down a number of hot pots with the tough as teak Buffering, Heathcote knows the horses to look out for in big races.

“The old tough geldings are the ones to beat, look at your Nature Strip’s and your Eduardo’s,” he said.

“I think Tony (Gollan’s) horse Zoustyle is the hardest one to beat in all honesty, he ran a huge race the other day.

“There is always a spruik horse going into these races, we had Samaready who beat us in the Moir (2013), then we turned the tables a bit later on in the Manikato.

“These horses (like Coolangatta) are always around, but they need to step up to this level.

“Ciaron Maher is no dill, I think they will ride Coolangatta a bit different this time so she is not so vulnerable, but Rothfire has improvement in him and the three weeks between runs is perfect.”

Paulele ($4.50) was well supported on Sunday morning to grab favouritism from Rothfire ($5) while Coolangatta is on the third line of betting at $7.

After scratching from the How Now Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, Gollan confirmed he will send his mare Isotope ($11) to the Moir, along with Zoustyle ($11).

Heathcote will this week send Rothfire back to Moonee Valley as he looks to continue his remarkable comeback from injury.

“Barriers are going to be crucial and I’m taking him back to the Valley early in the week to have a whiz around there, just for a look,” he said.

“Bubba Tilley is going down there to sit on him, he has been an integral part of the rehab of this horse.”

Originally published as Rob Heathcote believes Rothfire’s main Moir Stakes rivals come from within

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