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Melbourne Campaign For Hopfgarten
Meanwhile, trainer Robert Heathcote says that talented miler Hopfgarten will be sent to Melbourne to contest the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 26 September. It will be the first time the son of Mossman has campaigned outside of his native Queensland where he has built up an excellent record of 9 wins from 28 starts. Hopfgarten's biggest win to date was in last year's Gr3 Gunsynd Classic over a mile, a distance Heathcote believes is his forte. "Hopfgarten had a bit of a mixed winter carnival but I still think he ran some respectable races," Heathcote told RSN radio yesterday. "I now believe he is a miler so we will bring him down to Melbourne and target races like the Sir Rupert Clarke [Gr1] and possibly the Toorak Handicap [Gr1], and if he is racing well we may even look at the Emirates [Gr1]." Despite being a rising 5YO, Heathcote feels Hopfgarten has a progressive profile as evidenced by his fifth placing behind classy import Pornichet in the Gr1 Doomben Cup in May. "I think Hopfgarten is an improving type of horse and his brave fifth in the Doomben Cup is what made me think he was ready for a trip to Melbourne in the spring." He added: "He had a nice little break after the winter carnival, he looks in fantastic order and I'm quite happy with him."