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Heathcote Pressing on to Guineas

Tue 30 April 2024

By Brad Bishop and Danny Matthews

Press Statement gelding primed to bounce back in Qld Guineas.

Press Link tasted defeat for the first time at his final Queensland Guineas lead-up, but Robert Heathcote is confident the gelding can bounce back in this Saturday's Group 2 at Eagle Farm.

The son of Press Statement finished third, beaten 2-1/4 lengths by Exotique Miss in the Listed Daybreak Lover Plate (1400m) on April 20, but Heathcote said there was plenty of merit to the run.

"I was happy with his run, that track last week was very shifty and Michael Rodd came in and said three times it felt like he got checked, and he slipped," Heathcote said.

"We were back and the two that beat me home were up on the speed, which, I think it was an advantage to be up on the speed in that particular race.

"I think up over the mile it might be a different story. Hopefully we can be a little bit closer."

Press Link had won his previous three starts, beginning with a 1200m midweek maiden success at Doomben in November.

He was put away after that and returned with a 2-1/4-length win over 1110m at Doomben on March 6 before a 2-1/2-length win over 1200m at Eagle Farm on March 16.

Heathcote set his sights on the $350,000 Queensland Guineas immediately after that race and is confident Press Link will derive great improvement from his most recent outing and is hoping the showers predicted for Brisbane on Friday and Saturday stays away.

"He hadn't run for a month, he was going to 1400 and he got back out of his ground, but he still finished off and ran a nice third," Heathcote said.

"I think, because the track was a bit shifty, he couldn't get firm footing. He has a really good turn of foot, but we never got to see it."

Press Link was one of 26 nominations for the Queensland Guineas, in which last-start Sydney Carnival winners Ducasse, Kintyre and Panic are potential rivals.