Rob Heathcote has looked outside the square and towards a funky acupuncture regimen as he leaves no stone unturned to get Queensland’s most popular racehorse Rothfire back to his brilliant best for a spring assault.
Group 1 winner Rothfire has regular dry-needling sessions from a physiotherapist and Heathcote says his star galloper enjoys having the thin, stainless steel needles inserted into his skin in his Eagle Farm stable.
It is all done in a bid to tick every box to ensure Rothfire is at the top of his game when he returns to elite racing this spring after having a long break since undergoing leg surgery last spring.
Physiotherapist Joe Roberts with Rothfire. Picture: Tara CroserSource:News Corp Australia
The dry needling is designed to stimulate trigger points or muscles that are sore or irritable.
“I suppose there is going to be some sceptics about this, like there is about some equine veterinary science, but Rothfire absolutely loves it,” Heathcote said.
“It is all performance related.
“My job is to get the best I can out of my horses and if this aids in any small way, then I think it must be a plus.”
Physiotherapist Joe Roberts is the man who works on Rothfire and explains how the top-shelf galloper can benefit from dry needling.
“It’s all about trigger points and relieving tight muscles and sore spots,” Roberts says.
“My sessions with Rothfire go for about half an hour, there is stretching and massage and manipulation and the dry needling.
Joe Roberts and Rothfire who is undergoing acupuncture therapy. Picture: Tara CroserSource:News Corp Australia
“The needles themselves go in for about five minutes and there are about 20 of them.
“What I do is all rooted in the research which tell us that it can improve a horse’s range of motion and help them to be as free as they can be in their action.
“I look at working with horses as a direct comparison to elite sporting teams which all have a physio to treat players to help improve their performance.
“I’m a very small part of the Rothfire team, Rob is the coach and I’m the physio.”
Rothfire, who won the Group 1 JJ Atkins last year, had secured a slot in last year’s The Everest but injured himself in the Group 1 Golden Rose when a $1.55 favourite.
Rothfire having dry needling. Picture: Tara CroserSource:News Corp Australia
The needles are in and doing their thing. Picture: Tara CroserSource:News Corp Australia
While there are no guarantees, Heathcote’s hopes are now high that Rothfire can recapture the form that saw him become one of Australia’s most exciting racehorses.
After last week having his first full-throttle gallop since injuring himself, Rothfire had another promising gallop on the Eagle Farm course proper on Monday.
“It was excellent work and he is on track for a gallop with a mate next Tuesday before then trialling at Doomben on August 3,” Heathcote said.
Heathcote is hoping Rothfire can return to racing in such good form in the Sydney spring that a slot holder for The Everest will come calling.
But he insists the $7.5m Golden Eagle is also a fine option.
TAB has Rothfire marked as an $11 chance in the Golden Eagle and at $21 in The Everest.
Joe Roberts with Rothfire. Picture: Tara CroserSource:News Corp Australia
Originally published as‘Funky’ remedy called upon for outstanding sprinter Rothfire
Source: Read Full Article