Exciting youngster Prince Of Boom only needs to poke his head out of his stable door and look two doors down to see the Group 1 star is trying to emulate.
The unbeaten Rob Heathcote-trained two-year-old is only stabled a few metres away from Rothfire, his elite stablemate who set racing tongues wagging when winning the JJ Atkins in his two-year-old season during last year’s Queensland winter carnival.
Twelve months on and it’s time for unbeaten Prince Of Boom to walk in Rothfire’s footsteps.
While Rothfire is making a positive recovery from leg surgery and all signs are he will be ready to shine in his comeback in the rich Sydney spring carnival, the moment is now for Prince Of Boom.
Rob Heathcote and racing manager Melanie Sharpe with Group 1 winner Rothfire (left) and Prince Of Boom (right). Picture: Brad FleetSource:News Corp Australia
A bargain basement buy like Rothfire, Prince Of Boom will be aiming to keep his unbeaten record intact when he steps up to the big league of the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Prince Of Boom, the son of Tony Gollan’s former Group 1 star Spirit Of Boom, could not have been more impressive when blazing away to win his Sunshine Coast maiden by almost five lengths and then, only six days later, demolishing the Group 2 Champagne Classic field at Doomben by 2½ lengths.
On the back of those head-turning winning romps, Prince Of Boom is $5 favourite to make it a hat-trick of wins in the Sires’ on Saturday and is $6 favourite to do what Rothfire did and win the JJ Atkins next month.
However, Heathcote knows it will be no walk in the park on Saturday and several things are against his quick-blooming youngster.
While he feels Prince Of Boom has the measure of the horses he vanquished in the Champagne Classic, now known as the Spirit Of Boom Classic, there is fresh blood from down south to contend with on Saturday.
Prince of Boom goes bang! A thrilling edition of the Spirit of Boom Classic and @BenThompson2102
makes it a treble for the day so far. pic.twitter.com/7nYmkgq7UR
He has also drawn wide in barrier 13 and will likely race on a good track for the first time.
“You could easily make a case for five or six negatives with him going into the Sires’, with the biggest positive being that he is simply just a damn good horse,” Heathcote said.
“I would like to think he will beat those that he beat in the Champagne, I think he has got their measure.
“But the there is no doubt that some of these other horses he will face on Saturday present a step up in class from what he has been racing against, horses like Converge and Ranch Hand look to be very good.
“There are some simple realities heading into Saturday.
“He is stepping up in distance, racing at Eagle Farm for the first time and facing better horses as well as most likely racing on a good track for the first time.”
There are echoes of Rothfire in the Prince Of Boom story – Rothfire was famously sold to Heathcote for $10,000 and Prince Of Boom was passed in at the sales before being bought for $20,000.
Rob Heathcote with Prince Of Boom’s syndicators Michael Vincent and Paul Bita and racing manager Melanie Sharpe with Prince Of Boom (left) and Rothfire (right). Picture: Brad FleetSource:News Corp Australia
Prince Of Boom was syndicated by Adrenaline Thoroughbreds, headed by Michael Vincent and Paul Bita, with a group of owners now daring to dream their young horse can be a Group 1 star like Rothfire.
“I am a big fan of syndicators and I have been from day one,” Heathcote said.
“The provide a service to the industry that is necessary because they make racing accessible to everyone.
“The look on some of the faces of the owners when Prince Of Boom won the other day, they thought I was a deity.”
In the Prince Of Boom story, Heathcote feels he has another ace up his sleeve in the form of jockey Ben Thompson who is riding in career best form.
Prince Of Boom’s win at Doomben on May 15 was one leg of a riding treble on the day for the young jockey, who moved from Victoria to Queensland to be with his partner and fellow jockey Stephanie Thornton.
Thompson thought Prince Of Boom was a racing weapon from the first time he sat on his back.
Heathcote knows the jockey will have to produce a peach of a ride to win on Saturday but said Thompson had a calm head on his shoulders and made very few mistakes.
“Ben is great, he is the full package,” Heathcote said.
“He presents well, he does his form and he is riding very effectively and not making too many errors.
“And he probably gives the best post-race report of any jockey that I have ever known.”
Rob Heathcote with Group 1 winner and Queensland favourite Rothfire (left) and young up and coming star Prince Of Boom. Picture: Brad FleetSource:News Corp Australia
Prince Of Boom and Rothfire got on well when The Courier Mail went to Heathcote’s Eagle Farm stables to get them out of their boxes and photographed together.
Their trainer thinks they have something in common.
The established star and his up-and-coming stablemate share the character trait of being relaxed and nothing seems to faze them.
“There is not a horse they wouldn’t get on with, both of them are total gentlemen,” Heathcote says.
If all goes well in the Sires’, Prince Of Boom will push onto the JJ Atkins where he will aim to give Heathcote back-to-back wins in the Group 1 after Rothfire’s outstanding triumph last year.
Rothfire was much more seasoned heading into the JJ, tackling the Group 1 at his seventh career start.
If Prince Of Boom aims for glory in the JJ Atkins on Stradbroke day June 12, the youngster will be having just his fourth career start.
Originally published asHeathcote plotting to go Boom again
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