Trainer Robert Heathcote has set his sights on the lucrative Brisbane Winter Carnival after Olympic Anthem made an emphatic return to racing in 2014 at Doomben in Australia today.
The talented chestnut will be targeted towards the $350,000 G2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) with Heathcote mapping out a route to the June feature that will see Olympic Anthem race again in 10 days time.
Olympic Anthem looked a class above his rivals in the Goulburn Valley Handicap (1030m), justifying favouritism with a slick change of gears to win in comfortable fashion.
Over what looked to be an unsuitably short, trip the three-year-old settled at the back of the 10 strong field and turning for home was badly pocketed at the tail of the field. Once jockey Damien Browne extricated Olympic Anthem at the 200m he slipped through his gears quickly to hit the front inside the final 100m and win by three-quarters of a length.
“[Olympic Anthem] gives you the feeling of a good horse,” the jockey said.
“But as [trainer Robert Heathcote] says he has to take the baby steps up now to the better grade of horses. When he learns this there are some good races in him. His last furlong was very good.”
Heathcote has long held Olympic Anthem in high regard and was delighted his charge franked that assessment on his seasonal debut. In the trainer’s assessment, Olympic Anthem has the raw ability to measure up to stakes races, it is a matter of whether his mental maturity allows him to take the required steps in the immediate term or next season.
“I think we got to see his ability today particularly in the home straight,” Heathcote said.
“I said to some of friends and staff that we watching the race with me that he has to be a group horse to win [from the 300m]. I hope my prediction is right.”
Olympic Anthem is a member of the Beijing Olympic Syndicate and is the second winner for the CHC Australia racing outfit.