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ROTHFIRE - THE FULL STORY. FROM CHEAP YEARLING TO A VALUABLE GROUP 1 STAR IN JUST SEVEN STARTS

By Robert Heathcote with Graham Potter | Thursday, June 11, 2020

Trainer Robert Heathcote gives HRO readers the back story on his star two-year-old, the JJ Atkins winner Rothfire, and how the gelding quickly rose to prominence and became a Group 1 winner in his first season.

I thought I was blessed to have a champion in Buffering when he came into our lives and took so many of us on an amazing journey … and now maybe, just maybe I have found another one?

But I won’t get ahead of myself.

Humility is a fine quality to have. Racing has an amazing way of levelling things out, experience has long taught me that but, while I do not see myself as being a trainer until I the day I drop, there is nothing like a new dose of enthusiasm to spur you on and I have certainly received that dose over this past six months or so by having some nice youngsters in the stable … in particular, Rothfire.

I feel so humbled to have now found potentially another young horse in Rothfire who can do something similar to Buffering again but, as I said, after a big win, just around the corner there is always something waiting to bring you back down to earth.

You have to learn to deal with disappointments as they come along frequently. There are far more lows than highs in this game and that is why the wins are so special and are to be celebrated.
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It is not my skill in horse selection or my astute study of breeding which landed Rothfire in my lap. It is fate and for that I am grateful.

My good friend and client Simon Gleeson, from Gleeson Thoroughbreds at Chinchilla, called me and asked if I would be keen to buy a young horse from them as he was not a viable sales prospect!

I have a very trusting relationship with the Gleeson Family and, as he was not expensive, I had no problems taking the horse on. I thought it would be good to have a cheap horse on my website ‘horses available’ page to bring in some new clients to racing.

I agreed to the asking price of $11,000 including GST. I was sent the invoice a day or two later which I promptly paid. Simon called me three weeks later to say the funds have not arrived. Upon checking the invoice and the banking receipt, we then found the bank account details on the original invoice were incorrect. I had been a victim of a ‘PHISHING’ scam.

Scammers hack into businesses email accounts and, when they send out invoices, they change the details and once the funds are transferred to them, a sophisticated system sees the money gone overseas. It is a major fail in the Australian banking system and I warn everyone to always confirm bank details before transferring funds online.

So, in essence, I had to pay for Rothfire twice!!!

Full article

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Rob and Vicky Heathcote ... could they have another real star on their hands?
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Rothfire and Jimmy Byrne (above and below)
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