Griffon lived up to the expectations of Brisbane’s leading trainer Robert Heathcote when he stormed home to win today’s listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm.
First up since bleeding and finishing down the track in Stratford’s Magic Millions Class 6 Handicap at the Gold Coast in January, Griffon proved too strong for his rivals.
Allowed to find his feet during the early and middle stages of the race, Griffon steamed home under Paul Hammersley in the straight and race away to win by a widening length and a half margin.
Heathcote, who had the better fancied Excellantes in the race (running fifth), gave Griffon a winning chance in pre-race discussions and his charge lived up to the expectations with the win.
“He’s a good horse this bloke,” Heathcote said. “I told a few who asked that he was the knockout horse of the race.”
“Paul rode him perfectly. He allowed him to settle behind the fast past and then find clear running and he did the rest.”
“It has taken me a while to get to know the horse. I didn’t have him right last time, his coat was never how I wanted it.”
“Bart (Cummings) had him down in Sydney and he always had a good opinion of him,” he added.
A $210,000 purchase by former trainer Bart Cummings at the 2007 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Griffon has now earned almost $200,000 during his short 14 start career.
A graduate of Orange Grove Thoroughbreds, Griffon started his career with the Cups king before finding his way to Queensland’s capital city. Today was just his fourth run for the Heathcote stable.
Griffon will almost certainly have his next run in the listed Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm in a fortnight and Hammersley not surprisingly quickly booked himself for the ride.
Griffon is one of three winners produced by the well related and winning Jeune mare Jeune Girl.
From the stakes winning Rory’s Jester mare Joker’s Girl, Jeune Girl is a blood sister to Scarlaglow and half sister to group winner Absolutelyfabulous.
Griffon’s third dam, the Biscay mare Scarlet Bisque, was a high class galloper who won a Group One Oakleigh Plate among eight wins – six of them at black type level.
Breeding: Flying Spur-Jeune Girl (Jeune)
Race: BRC Lightning Handicap LR (1000m)
Sold for: $210,000
Sale: 2007 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Orange Grove Thoroughbreds
Buyer: Bart Cummings
Owner(s): WJ & Mrs RJ Mula
Trainer: Robert Heathcote (Eagle Farm)