The Big Goodbye’s Stunning Return

Apr 22, 2024

Now that sure as hell beats a boring old barrier trial

The Big Goodbye spectacularly returned to the track to the raucous cheers of a massive Qld Rogues owners group on Saturday causing a boilover in the Listed $160,000 Ascot Handicap at Eagle Farm.

Queensland’s best sprinters lined-up but they were no match for The Big Goodbye, who has now notched 8 fabulous wins for the Rogues.

The Big Goodbye crosses the line 1st for the QLD Rogues in the 2024 listed Ascot Hcp


Your trainer Rob Heathcote deserves plenty of praise for the win.

Rob was tossing up between running the Big G or giving him another barrier just to have him cherry ripe for his return after a good break.

History now tells you that Rob made the right call.

“I did think about giving him another trial, but after chatting with the TRL team I thought bugger it let’s go to the races there’s $160,000 up for grabs which is a hell of a lot better than paying for a barrier trial.

“A little bit of a surprise I guess, perhaps but last campaign first-up in the Swiss Ace Plate he probably should have won.

A lovely ride from Martin we weren’t too concerned about getting out wide because not too many had gone to the inside of the track and he did the rest and was strong to the line” Trainer Rob Heathcote

The Big Goodbye Martin Harley and trainer Rob Heathcote

“He is the fastest horse I have ridden since Abounding” Jockey Martin Harley


The win also left jockey Martin Harley with a massive smile after the race with The Big Goodbye quickly becoming one of his favourites.

Harley, told Trent Akers from the Courier Mail he reckons he hasn’t sat on a horse as fast as The Big Goodbye since he won the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in January and it proved to be true as he powered to another win.

The popular Irishman has been on the sidelines nursing a neck injury, but landed his first winner since taking out the $3m feature in January when he took an unconventional route to knock over the likes of Prince Of Boom, Zarastro, Nettuno and All That Pizzazz.

“He is the fastest horse I have ridden since Abounding in the Magic Millions, she is the last winner I rode as well,” a relieved Harley said.

“It is nice to get back in the winners’ circle, not many jockeys can make slow horses run fast but when you have a horse that tries, it is a big help.

“He is an unbelievable horse who wears his heart on his sleeve.

“There was speed on today so we elected to conserve the energy instead and get a nice run up the inside.

“It helped to have a willing partner today.” Harley said he’s keen to stick with the Big G throughout his Winter Campaign.

The Big Goodbye and Jockey Martin Harlery

Bugger it, let’s go to the races, there’s $160,000 up for grabs!” Trainer Rob Heathcote on deciding whether to race or not 


The Big Goodbye’s win and the $92,000 in prize money that goes with it have also helped the Qld Rogues kick clear on the monthly and overall TRL Ladder.

That prize money equates to 92,000 in points on the ladder, while the Vic Husslers picked up a crucial 32,900 in points for Bellinger’s fighting second at Mornington also on Saturday.

It’s a handy lead for the Rogues but it’s not insurmountable as the Vic’s trot out Team Captain on Anzac Day at Flemington with Miss Trustful also due to make her debut for the Husslers before the end of the month.


It’s always good to let the dust settle before making firm decisions but as Rob say’s The Big Goodbye has earned the right to be mixing it at the top end of town.

“Look there’s no hiding at this level and he is now up there. There’s the Victory Stakes which is the unofficial start of the Brisbane Winter Carnival but with the top Sydney sprinters coming for that it might be a bit rich.

The better option at this stage is probably the ATC Cup which I think used to be the old Goldmarket on the Gold Coast, either way he’s got some good options coming up to thrill the owners.” Rob said.

Go the Rogues!