Robert Heathcote’s faith in Deep Image finally came to fruition when the Testa Rossa sprinter made his black-type breakthrough at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The lightly-raced gelding took luck out of the equation with a front-running three-quarter length win in the Lough Neagh Stakes LR. “He’s all class and I’ve been saying for some time he would win good races,” Heathcote claimed. “I was confident when Robbie (Fradd) got some easy sectionals and that’s the way it turned out.”
Deep Image (pictured) is the 66th stakes winner by Testa Rossa who is enjoying a laidback retirement at Vinery Stud. His final book in 2018 comprised four mares including Joffa Rose (Durbridge) who foaled a colt for breeder John Cappellin in September.
Cappellin raced Testa Rossa and enjoyed 6 Group 1 celebrations while banking over $3 million in prizemoney. His first big pay-day had been a four-length demolition of the 1999 Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
Deep Image also has a Gold Coast assignment in the $1 million Magic Millions Cup RL on January 11. Depending on his progress, Heathcote might consider another start in The Buffering (1400m) at Eagle Farm on December 28. He would love win that race with a horse carrying the same colours as his five-time Queensland Horse of the Year.
“I’ve had a wrap on him,” Heathcote added. “He was very strong on the line today and I think he can probably go and win better races now.”
Originally with David Vandyke, Deep Image ran second to Winning Rupert on debut in the 2016 Golden Edition Plate LR. The Lough Neagh was his 7th win in 19 starts.
Vinery Stud sold Deep Image for $150,000 at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions. His dam Starwish (Redoute’s Choice) has a perfect strike-rate at stud with the addition of More Than Ready’s winning trio Moon Phase, On A Comet & Speedgun,
Second-dam Stella Cadente (Centaine) was our first Group 1 winner under lights in the 1998 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.