ALPINE DANCES HIS WAY TO THE WINNERS STALL!
#TeamFLRQLD unearthed another very promising 3yo for the Sunshine State stable after Alpine Dancer broke his maiden in fine style up in class at Doomben on Wednesday to the cheers of his big group of adoring owners.
Having been dubbed the “sleeping giant” by trainer Rob Heathcote, Alpine Dancer (also affectionately known to many owners as “Toppie”), was thrown in the deep end on Wednesday third up in the 1650m Class 1 3yo QTIS Plate after two luckless runs in Maiden grade, including a most impressive first up run at 100/1 odds! While he was one of only two maidens in the race, Rob was confident he had the ability to be there and he duly saluted thanks to a patient ride from Michael Hellyer, and of course, a bit of luck finally going his way!
Rob Heathcote has always been a big fan of Toppie right from the start, so much so that he couldn’t help but retain a share for himself and wife Vickie so the win was one well celebrated after he admitted to a few hair-raising moments early in the race.
"He was slower away than I thought he would be, Michael didn’t bustle him early and yeah, I did mutter a few effs the first few furlongs! It was a slow, steady early pace so it was good to see McNab inject some speed into the race when he whipped around and took it up. It certainly aided our chances.”
"Michael Hellyer shook our lad up from the 600, you could see he is still very green and raw but when he did get to the outside, he let down like a very good young horse. The final 600 in 35.22, good time as well so enough to be pretty excited about with him going forward, let alone winning a nice QTIS race today."
“Gee, it’s always a thrill when nice young horses can rise to the next level and he's done that today with a real good win. It is so damned hard to win a C1 race against proven winners as a maiden horse but he has stuck his ‘hoof’ up today and said he might be a decent horse in the making.”
WINNERS ARE GRINNERS!
The 3yo son of under-rated QLD sire Top Echelon has always been an impressive type physically and he becomes another great Magic Millions QTIS sale buy for Team FLR QLD - the same sale as fellow winners and bargain buys Real Estate, Black Champagne, Love And Rock It, Vienna Moon, Capeos and Rebel Saga.
“Top Echelon was a sire we really targeted last year for the QLD team and this guy was just one of those horses we “had to have” or as Paul Willetts would say “just buy it”! “ said FLR’s Ashleigh Dowley. “He was just a quality horse on type and he ticked all the boxes. Top Echelon has one of the highest winning strike rates of all QLD sires so we really wanted to get one into the stable and he was both Rob’s, Paul’s and our favourite of the “Toppie’s” from that 2017 QTIS sale.”
“He has taken a bit of time however - he was very colty early days which quickly changed once he was two stone lighter but he’s also just been mentally & physically immature. He is a big horse in stature but also he’s just been a bit of a clumsy fella and slow learner so he has taken time to figure out his craft.”
“Rob’s done a terrific job with him – the team have been patient and he's come back this prep after a good spell much more switched on and we saw glimpses of his ability at his first two runs back – both of which he arguably should have won so we are wrapped he could deliver this time and show there is plenty for his great group of owners to be excited about.
A “sleeping giant” indeed!” The win on Wednesday was celebrated by a huge cohort of owners on track, interstate and abroad including some who are experiencing the thrill of racehorse ownership for the very first time! And trainer Rob Heathcote has indicated the best is yet to come from Alpine Dancer so being both Magic Millions and QTIS nominated, owners are in for one hell of a ride the rest of the season!
Alpine Dancer has come through the run well and will now head back to Doomben in a week’s time, again over the mile to attempt back to back wins.
Congratulations to all owners! Vicky Heathcote, Tony Georgieff, Glenn & Kerrie Mangan, Tony & Kerrie Klose, Chris Summervillle, Bob Wildermuth, Deb Jones, Monique Ellis, Keith McCarroll, Brent Cheyne, Biljana Cheyne, Cecil Hale, Cate Solah, Shayne Petty, Nhulun Boys & Girls Syndicate (Patrick Laverty, Chris Thompson, Greg Thompson, Hannah Fincham-Thompson, Sarah Fincham-Thompson, James Haddock, Denise Fincham)Lesley Nash, Derek Wright