Heptinstall has ambitious plans for Lord Vladivostok

Heptinstall has ambitious plans for Lord Vladivostok14 May 2021

A gritty performance by Lord Vladivostok to land the Gr.3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on Saturday has given part-owner Tommy Heptinstall plenty to think about over the coming months.

The four-year-old Tavistock gelding showed plenty of fight in a tight finish to outmuscle Dr Drill for the win and provide Heptinstall with another highlight in his ownership scrapbook.

“I don’t drink so the head is fine this morning (Sunday), but it surely was a great night,” Heptinstall said.

“I think I’ve been to Adelaide twice now, once with Werther when he got beaten in the South Australia Derby (Gr.1, 2500m) and now with this guy and they have both been just magnificent days.

“They really know how to put on a superb event, so we had a great time and to win the race was really icing on a wonderful cake.”

Lord Vladivostok did his early racing out of Andrew Campell’s Cambridge stable for Heptinstall and his fellow owners before being transferred to the Michael Hickmott operation at Murray Bridge last year following an unsuccessful effort in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).

The horse has thrived in the new environment and has now won four of his eight Australian starts with Heptinstall keen to see him tested against the big guns during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

“Michael set him for this race and he went really well when finishing third fresh-up last time,” he said.

“He went up to win but was probably just one run light so we knew second up he would be very hard to beat.

“I think the best thing about the win was that he was badly off under the conditions of the race, carrying 55kgs, with just a 79 rating and the youngest in the field, so to do what he did against some proven horses was remarkable.

“Really he is just a typical Tavistock who keeps getting better with age and next season he should be even better.

“We think he has what it takes to measure up to better company, so we will be looking at the options available to him in the spring and I would love to think he could go to Melbourne and hold his own there.

“You are racing the best of the best, so it is a real test, but I think he is up to it.” - NZ Racing Desk