Stunning comeback by Solzhenitsyn

Dreams are free.  That’s the expression trainer Rob Heathcote used after (NZ) bred gelding Solzhenitsyn made a stunning comeback in the Hanrick Curran Hcp (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.

“I’ve nominated him for the Cox Plate and dreams are free,” Heathcote said.  “But realistically, he will have to win either the Sir Rupert Clarke or Toorak Hcp to warrant running at Moonee Valley.”

The former Te Awamutu galloper will race next in the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 29.   “We’ve set some lofty goals for him this campaign and he needed to beat that field,” Heathcote said.   “Even though he was a long way off them in the middle stages, quality horses can overcome those sort of things.”

Having his first start since his winning the LR Strawberry Road Hcp (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June, Solzhenitsyn produced a whirlwind finish to down Bold Glance by a length.  “I think the 1350 metres was a bit short,” Heathcote added.  “But class prevailed and he’s earned a trip south with my other carnival horses.”

Solzhenitsyn (6g St Petersburg – Tri Victory by Victory Dance) was a transferred to Heathcote following an Ellerslie victory in December 2010.  He is raced by bloodstock agents Paul Willetts and Damon Gabbedy after being sold by Grande Vue Lodge for $10,000 as a foal at the 2007 NZ Bloodstock National Sale.

Solzhenitsyn is by Nureyev sire St Petersburg who was a G3 winner at Flemington for a syndicate that included Lindsay Park, Vinery and Swettenham Stud.  He stood at Grande Vue Lodge and Brighthill Farm during a moderately successful career at stud in New Zealand.