Bellissimi continues beautiful friendship

Mark Oberhardt
Trainer Robert Heathcote has a strong Eagle Farm hand including 2yo Bellissimi Amici

Few horses have a more appropriate name than Bellissimi Amici who runs at Eagle Farm.

Bellissimi Amici will be having her second start in the QTIS Two-Year-Old (1200m) on Saturday when she will be ridden by Robbie Fradd.

The Italian translation of Bellissimi Amici is beautiful friends and is often also applied to families.

It is apt because Bellissimi Amici comes from a family which has not only been a good friend to trainer Robert Heathcote but also the Queensland racing industry.

She is the last foal of the super producing broodmare Cantantes who has been a major player in Queensland racing for two decades.

A handy race mare Cantantes, who was by Just Awesome, won two races for Heathcote in his first years as a trainer.

She has excelled in the broodmare barn and has produced the winners of about 50 races, the vast majority for Heathcote.

They include Funtantes, Excellantes, Guntantes, Notre Amour, Kingtantes, Khaptentes, Brilliantes, Remembering Frank and Alle Vongole.

Funtantes won 10 races including the Group Two Champagne Classic, while Execellantes won 12 races which included five at stakes level.

Guntantes is one of the best in a current crop of Queensland three-year-olds with five wins.

All Cantantes' offspring have been by Queensland-based sires such as Falvelon, Easy Rocking, Show A Heart and Rothesay.

Funtantes is set to carry on the family name as a broodmare as her son Ziemba is showing signs of being a top liner.

To further add to the family and friends atmosphere Bellissimi Amici is raced by a syndicate which includes Heathcote's wife Vicky and his close friends Rob Ciobo and Bruce Harry.

They have been in the ownership of a large number Cantantes' offspring.

"Cantantes died about two years ago but her name will live on for many years to come," Heathcote said.

"She really has been a good friend to a lot of people."

Bellissimi Amici, who is a full sister to Guntantes, ran fourth at her only start two weeks ago in a two-year-old maiden at Doomben.

"She is a get-back type and she made up a stack of ground from back in the field at her first run," Heathcote said.

"I have put blinkers on her for Saturday which should help."

He is hoping the big Eagle Farm track will give her a chance to mow down the front runners.

Heathcote will play a major hand in Saturday's meeting with eight runners including in-form Cool Chap who is chasing three straight wins in the Canadian Club Open Handicap.