Whoosh!! Rothfire in a Class of His Own in JJ Atkins

Mark Smith - Saturday June 6

Outstanding two-year-old Rothesay gelding Rothfire, who was deemed unworthy of a place in a yearling sale,  left a class field struggling in his wake with a record-breaking performance in Saturday’s Group 1 JJ Atkins Plate (1400m) at Eagle Farm.Rothfire all alone in the JJ Atkins (image Steve Hart)

Given a positive ride by Jim Byrne, Rothfire displayed an impressive turn of foot at the 300 metres to put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Beaten just once in seven starts, the Robert Heathcote-trained gelding strode clear to defeat the fast-finishing Not A Single Doubt filly Gotta Kiss by three and a quarter lengths with the $2,000 Unencumbered gelding The Drinks Cart a long-head back in third.

Royally-bred colt Overlord was a luckless fourth.

"He is some horse. I’m lost for words and that’s not usually me,” Heathcote said.

“He climbed his Everest today, no pun intended. But we do want to go to the Everest with him and now that he's come out here and beaten a gun field of two-year-old's he has to be right up there in the ratings."

"He'll go to the paddock on Monday we'll give him a nice break set a program in concrete, beginning with The Everest and then possibly onto The Coolmore 1200 metres up the straight at Flemington he'd love it."

"I have compared him to Buffering and in time I would love to see him travel all over the world, he's on track."

Byrne said he was confident all the way.

"As anticipated it was a little bit messy early. He pinged the gates as he normally does but I was happy to hand up to Wisdom of Water, it actually helped him relax and the same thing when Isotope whizzed around, he's just so calm,” Byrne said.

"First time at the 1400 metres I thought I might have pushed the button a bit early on him at the three hundred but we got to the furlong and he was still finding."

"Rob (Heathcote) thinks the world of this horse and so do I, hopefully, this is the start of a long journey."

Bred by Wally and Jill Gleeson’s Gleeson Thoroughbreds, Rothfire was a sale company reject so he was offered to trainer Robert Heathcote for $10,000 and what a wonderful investment he has been.

The son of Rothesay advances his record to 6 wins and a second from 7 starts with earnings of $708,400.

He is the best of three winners from five to race out of the unraced Hussonet (USA) mare Huss On Fire.

While there may be a shortage of black-type close-up, Huss On Fire’s granddam Verscay (Marscay) is a three-quarter sister to Listed Dark Jewel Classic winner Romare and a half-sister to the very talented Vertingly whose five ins included the Group III Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield.

Huss On Fire died last year and Rothfire is her final foal.

Rothfire is one of six stakes-winners for Lyndhurst Stud’s Fastnet Rock stallion Rothesay who after having a couple of quiet seasons bounced back in 2019 covering 98 mares at a fee of $4,950.

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Race Result - XXXX Dry J J Atkins Gr1 1400m

Eagle Farm Track: Good(3) Time: 1:21.06
1
Rothfire
T: R L Heathcote J: J Byrne 57
2g Rothesay (AUS) x Huss On Fire (NZ) (Hussonet (USA))
2
3.3
Gotta Kiss
T: Steven O'Dea J: Ms S Thornton 55
2f Not A Single Doubt (AUS) x Sweet Kiss (AUS) (Strada (AUS))
3
3.5
The Drinks Cart
T: A J & T Edmonds J: B N Stewart 57
2g Unencumbered (AUS) x Snipzu (AUS) (Snippetson (AUS))
4
3.9
Overlord
T: C J Waller J: Boris Thornton 57
2c Sebring (AUS) x Red Tracer (AUS) (Dane Shadow (AUS))
5
4.1
Wisdom Of Water
T: A J & T Edmonds J: R Fradd 57
2c Headwater (AUS) x Regal Tier (AUS) (Royal Academy (USA))
6
4.2
Thunder Mania
T: J G Symons & S Laxon J: Taylor Marshall 57
2c Snitzel (AUS) x Imana (AUS) (Thunder Gulch (USA))
7
4.4
Macroura
T: C Maher & D Eustace J: A Mallyon 55
2f Snitzel (AUS) x Zenaida (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))
Inglis Chairman's Sale $420,000
V:Segenhoe Stud, Scone
B: A List Stud Pty Ltd
8
4.6
Wild Ruler
T: P & P Snowden J: Ryan Maloney 57
2c Snitzel (AUS) x Gypsy Robin (USA) (Daaher (CAN))
9
4.8
Tick Tock Boom
T: David Vandyke J: Jake Bayliss 57
2c Spirit Of Boom (AUS) x Boomalicious (AUS) (Red Dazzler (AUS))
10
5.0
Isotope
T: T J Gollan J: Baylee Nothdurft 55
2f Deep Field (AUS) x Great Dansaar (AUS) (Choisir (AUS))
11
5.2
Starosa
T: T J Gollan J: J Innes Jnr 55
2f Starspangledbanner (AUS) x Sardaaj (NZ) (Iffraaj (GB))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $40,000
V:Rosemont Stud, Gnarwarre, Vic
B: Roy Sergi
12
5.4
Cosmic Gossip
T: S W Kendrick J: Dale Smith 55
2f Spill The Beans (AUS) x O' Venus (AUS) (Anabaa (USA))
13
5.6
Spokesman
T: C J Waller J: L R Dittman 57
2c Press Statement (AUS) x Calaluna (AUS) (Mujahid (USA))
Inglis Classic Yearling Sale Highway Session $30,000
V:Fairview Park Stud, Grose Wold
B: T C Bloodstock
14
5.9
Saffiano
T: C J Waller J: M R Du Plessis 57
2c More Than Ready (USA) x Black Prada (AUS) (Domesday (AUS))
15
6.0
Way Beyond
T: S W Kendrick J: R Wiggins 57
2c Spill The Beans (AUS) x Kylie's Way (USA) (Menifee (USA))
MM Gold Coast National Weanling Sale $11,000
V:Willow Park Stud, Scone, NSW
B: Douglas Racing Pty Ltd
16
8.7
Minjee
T: R L Heathcote J: B Spriggs 55
2f Not A Single Doubt (AUS) x A Brilliant Idea (USA) (Afleet Alex (USA))
17
10.0
Superare
T: S W Kendrick J: James Orman 57
2c Exceed And Excel (AUS) x Strawberry Field (AUS) (Encosta De Lago (AUS))
18
12.2
Not An Option
T: R & M Freedman J: M Cahill 57
2c Not A Single Doubt (AUS) x Chintz (NZ) (Savabeel (AUS))
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