Robert Heathcote is making it very clear he isn’t happy about the weights for this weekend’s Caulfield Sprint where his horse Buffering comes in at the top of the pack.
It’s not so much the 58kg that concerns him though, it’s more how that stacks up against the rest of the field.
The horse of most concern is Sepoy, the flying three year old that towelled up not only Buffering but an entire Group 1 field last start in the Manikato Stakes.
That was at weight for age level so there was no escaping the discrepancy there, but the Caulfield Sprint is a handicap.
In Heathcote’s mind then it would be an obvious choice to have Sepoy more heavily weighted than his charger but that’s not what transpired.
In fact Buffering will give away 2.5kg to Sepoy who comes in at 55.5kg.
“I find it a little perplexing to be honest, the race itself is handicap, Sepoy was clearly dominant in the Mankato Group 1,” he said.
Backing up that viewpoint is the fact Sepoy has an official rating of 117 compared to Buffering’s 109 which would usually mean a nearly 4kg swing.
The explanation Heathcote says he was given is that they still take into consideration the weight for age scale, but that’s something he finds ridiculous.
“It’s not a weight for age race, it’s a handicap race,” he said.
“Clearly Sepoy is very well in.”
Buffering was easily dispatched at the top of the turn at Moonee Valley and Heathcote admits he can’t really see how that will turn around at Caulfield.
“Going on his Manikato form he’d have to fall over not to win,” he said.
“He’s a super three year old and I totally agree…he’s the best colt in Australia.
“He fought us off and sprinted off and won strongly…I don’t think the weight increase (3.5kg) will make much of a difference.”
Heathcote has also gone into bat for jockey Damian Browne who many have criticised for being too aggressive in the Manikato.
Heathcote is having none of it though and says he rode to a plan they had to win the race, not to run second.
“He was really only following my instructions…we went out there to win the race,” he said.
“The only way we could beat the horse was to see if we could make him bend on the pressure and that’s what we went out to do.”
He says they’re looking forward to another consistent performance from Buffering this weekend and whether he can beat Sepoy or not they’ll be content.
“At the end of the day we’re excited, he’s doing us proud and he’s bringing a lot of pleasure to us,” Heathcote said.