Heathcote’s Group 1 celebrations on hold

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Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote is resigned to the fact that he will have to put on hold his first Group one celebtations after rival trainer Peter Moody suddenly changed plans with his champion mare Black Caviar.

Heathcote was eyeing off the Group 1 $750,000 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday with his star sprinter Buffering as his first taste of Group 1 glory but with Moody now likely to send Black Caviar to Flemington on Saturday, the task looks nearly impossible.

“The mail I’m getting is she’ll be running and it will be the third time Buffering has met her,” Heathcote said.

“I thought Buffering was a great chance of winning the Lightning but it looks like he’ll be running for second and third again.”

Moody dropped the bombshell on Saturday after his champion mare made it eighteen straight wins in taking out the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield and announced that Black Caviar would more than likely line up in the Lightning this week.

The Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 25 was to be Black Caviar’s next start before heading off overseas, possibly Dubai then onto England but Moody had a change of heart with the effortless ease with which she took out the Orr.

Buffering has already had two clashes with the unbeaten champ. He ran to within three lengths of her when second in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival last year and got windburn when third in the Group 1 $400,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

The Mossman four year old picked up $180,000 in the Patinack Farm Classic for running second and Heathcote is resigned to the fact that he will have to be content with the runners up cheque again.

“I’m disappointed we’ll be meeting Black Caviar again. I’m scared and angry she’s running in the Lightning.

“I don’t want her to be there but the mail is she’s running and I’ll still be very surprised if she does run.

“We can’t beat her, that’s for sure, unless there’s an injury or illness and I don’t want to see that happen ever to Black Caviar,” Heathcote said.

Buffering and stable mate Woorim will fly to Melbourne tonight after completing their final hard gallop for the week at Eagle Farm this morning.

Heathcote said he was very happy with the pairs work after galloping together but realises that whatever race either of his stable stars contest will be tough.

Woorim is no stranger to Melbourne having won at Moonee Valley and Flemington last Spring but is likely to run into Peter Snowden’s outstanding three year old Sepoy in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25.

“But that’s not going to be easy either as we’re running into another champion, Sepoy,” Heathcote said.

“It just doesn’t stop.”

Trainer Tony Gollan said that he was also surprised with the change of plans for Black Caviar but was still going to kick off his Autumn campaign with Temple Of Boom in the Lightning.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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