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By Graham Potter | Saturday, September 11, 2021

What a difference a year can make!

Rothfire, denied his chance at glory in The Everest last year after suffering a horrible, career threating injury in a lead-up race to the big event, is not only back fit and well, but he has already given enough indication to show he is ready to rumble on the big stage to the point that he has once again gained a much prized slot in the 2021 edition of The Everest … a seriously notable achievement for a horse that has not raced since September 26 last year, particularly given the quality of horses whose connections have been wooing slot-holders.

Such is the level of respect in which Rothfire’s race record of seven wins (including a Group 1 victory) from nine starts is held.

The gamble for James Kennedy, the slot holder who announced Rothfire as his selected runner this morning, is pronounced … but he has not only put his vote of confidence in the Robert Heathcote camp in terms of their capability to turn Rothfire out ready to fire under race conditions (we will know more on that when Rothfire resumes in The Shorts next week) , but he has also rubber-stamped his approval on Rothfire’s prowess with regard to being able to be competitive against the likes of the intimidating ruling favourite Nature Strip.

Kennedy is a first-time slot-holder so his experience of buying the slot in the first place, selecting a horse to run under his banner and then negotiating a mutually agreeable financial package with the horse’s ownership group … which can be as taxing an activity as anything else … has fuelled great excitement and some expectation of the upcoming contest.

The Rothfire connections have lived through that sort of intense build-up once before without getting to the main course but, all things being equal, they will be able to feast on the thrill of the moment this year as their horse attempts to complete some unfinished business.

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Rob Heathcote
Rob Heathcote
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