There had been concerns raised about the recent scratchings of a number of Robert Heathcote runners to head to Doomben last Saturday but it is understood that Rothfire doesn’t interest the ongoing stewards inquiry and can be allowed to race this weekend.
Heathcote found himself in hot water last year after stewards found bottles of Hempolex at his stables and resulted in all his runners being scratched from a Saturday Metro card at Doomben. Whilst the trainer maintains it was an honest mistake the inquiry is ongoing.
Hemoplex contains a minuscule amount of cobalt but is unlikely to produce positive swabs.
“Initially, sharp punters were all over Rothfire ($3.40) in the all-in market, with a couple of $1000 bets at the $3.50 mark,” a TAB spokesman said.
“The follow up interest has been bit slower and he’s drifted from $2.50 final field to $2.70 post draw, and holds under 20 per cent of the early market.
“The money has been far stronger for Count De Rupee, who has come in from $7 to $5 and is pushing to 45 per cent of the final field hold already.
“There’s a bit around for both Shaquero ($26) and Jamaea ($31-$21) at odds.”
The Stradbroke Handicap is believed to be Rothfire’s major Winter target with potential Everest interests secondary target after the juvenile was scratched after injury in 2020.
Rothfire won the JJ Atkins in that same year and will be looking to bounce back to his Group One winning best.