Jul 25, 2023

By Terry Kennedy

Rising 6yo gelding The Big Goodbye staved off the fast-finishing topweight Far Too Easy and defending champion Ranges in Wednesday’s $200,000 Listed Ramornie Hcp (1200m) at Grafton.

Ridden by Martin Harley for Robert Heathcote, The Big Goodbye (Host) rode the early speed to defeat Far Too Easy (All Too Hard) by a half-neck with Ranges (Shooting To Win) a long-head back in third.

After beginning his career for Richard and Chantelle Jolly before joining the Heathcote stable in 2021, the son of Host (Chi) has been racing in career-best form. He came to the Ramornie following a second to Prince Of Boom (Spirit Of Boom) in the Listed WJ Healey Stakes at Eagle Farm on June 24

It was an emotional moment for stable representative Leah Kilner, a one-time regular partner of the Ramornie winner.

“He is the bravest horse I have ever ridden; he is just the best,” Kilner enthused.

“He has had a long prep, but Rob is a fantastic trainer. He knows what he is doing, and (The Big Goodbye) has a week at Washpool to get some sun on his back.

“We would love a stable full of him and big credit to the team at home who do an amazing job.”

“I’m a Grafton girl and always wanted to win a Ramornie, and I thought I would be the one on this horse. That didn’t happen, but I am here with him now, and that’s the main thing.”    

With his maiden stake’s success, The Big Goodbye advances his record to ten wins, eleven seconds and four thirds from 32 starts with earnings of $598,825.

The son of Host (Chi) was a $52,500 purchase for Neerim Lodge from the Willow Grove Stud draft at the 2019 Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

The Big Goodbye is the penultimate foal of Penny Opera, who died in 2020, a couple of months after the death of Host (Chi), who left eight stakes winners headed by the charismatic dual Group 1 winner Eduardo.

“I’d give him 11 out of 10 for that ride”  Leah Kilner referring to the ride of Martin Harley onboard The Big Goodbye 

Congratulations QLD Rogues!!

Watch the race-replay here