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Rain to determine Hopfgarten’s race

Robert Heathcote is one of the few trainers hoping the predicted heavy rain arrives at Doomben for the Cup meeting.

Heathcote has noted wet tracker Hopfgarten in the Group Three BRC Sprint (1350m) as a final lead-up to next month’s Group One Stradbroke Handicap.

But Hopfgarten has drawn the second widest barrier on Saturday and Heathcote will probably only run him on a wet track.

He also has the option to start Hopfgarten in next week’s Kingsford Smith Cup.

The gelding has been freshened since his first-up second to Music Magnate in the Group Two Victory Stakes (1200m) on April 29.

The run boosted Heathcote’s confidence that Hopfgarten can be hard to beat in the Stradbroke on June 10.

“One thing he loves is the new Eagle Farm track and he loves it soft. Also he will probably get 53 or 52.5 kilograms in the Stradbroke which will also be a big help,” Heathcote said.

“But first we have to get over Saturday and the BRC Sprint. He has drawn wide and provided we do get rain he will run.

“It will be his last run before the Stradbroke. I was tempted to go into next week’s Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm but this is probably better. But I can go there if no rain comes.”

Hopfgarten has won five stakes races and $717,000 prize money.

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