Full steam ahead to Sydney for rehabilitated Rothfire

Heathcote relieved after brilliant trial win.

Trainer : ROBERT HEATHCOTE Picture: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

ROB Heathcote  has put Everest slot holders on notice that his star sprinter Rothfire is back and ready to prove he is a worthwhile entry in the world's richest turf race this year.

After sustaining injuries in last year's Golden Rose, Rothfire made his first official public appearance in a 1000m Doomben trial on Tuesday.

After sharing the lead with restricted performer Le Palmier, Rothfire came away in the straight to clock a slick 55.95 seconds for the trip, zipping home in 33.45. His overall time was almost two seconds quicker than any of the other ten 1000m heats during the session.

Heathcote described the trial has having "enormous satisfaction" with an "overriding feeling of relief."

"Two sizeable chips were removed from his fetlock. I've used the term miracle more than once just to get him back and to see him do that this morning, it's enormous relief," he said.

"It was a sesamoid injury, but we were lucky, because it was the side of the sesamoid and he's only lost 15 per cent of his suspensory ligament.

"The challenge now is maintaining that soundness."

Heathcote has flagged The Shorts on September 18 as Rothfire's first up assignment, where James Mcdonald has first refusal on the ride.

Before then, Rothfire will have a week break, before coming back into the stable and having another trial before going to Sydney.

Rothfire had secured a slot in last year's Everest before his Golden Rose injury.

Heathcote would dearly love to return 12 months on and have the now four-year-old take his place in the field.

"That depends on how he goes in The Shorts I guess. It's been a long road, been a lot of work put in by a lot of people," he said.

Stablemate Prince Of Boom, a winner of the Group 2 Champagne (Spirit Of Boom) Classic in May, also won his trial (over 840m) in good style on Tuesday.

He is set to resume in Queensland in a three-year-old set weights and penalty race before going south, possibly to run in the Run to the Rose, the same race Rothfire won so brilliantly last year. 

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