Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote has not ruled out a start in the Cox Plate for Woorim depending on his performance in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakesthis Saturday at Caulfield.
Woorim has received the second highest weight in the Group 1 race.
Heathcote was surprised at the 57.5 kilogram weight allocation.
“(It was a) little more than what I thought he’d probably earned,” Heathcote said.
“(But) one thing I’ve found in my short time in racing is that the handicappers are more often right than wrong”
“I guess if you want to be the eternal optimist then look at the weights and see he’s dropped three kilos from the very comprehensive win at Moonee Valley (last start) so some could argue he’s into the race quite well even though it is a Group 1 race.”
Heathcote insists that Woorim is in better form than when he finished an unlucky third in this race last year.
“We’re going to the Rupert Clarke confident that he’s going to run very very well,” Heathcote said.
“I don’t think he is, I’m 100% positive that he’s going much better.
“He’s always possessed the ability; he’s had this scintillating finish for the last couple of years.
“But the problems I’ve had have been foot related and it’s the first time we’re going into a preparation where we believe we have his feet 100% right.”
All things going well, Woorim will head to the Group 1 Toorak Handicap on October 8.
“That would be the goal, if he were to win or run a very good race on Saturday we’ll certainly go to the Toorak,” Heathcote said.
“If he was to win that that or run a big race then we’ve made a couple of payments for the Cox Plate so we’re certainly not ruling that out.
“Sure we’re dreamers and it’s a long way to go but I think it’s common knowledge so far that this year’s Cox Plate may not be as strong as past years.”