Courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald By Chris RootsFOR a minute, Brisbane's premier trainer Robert Heathcote let himself dream in the stands at Eagle Farm the other day at trackwork.''[Black Caviar] walked past me. She is so impressive. She has length and size, everything you wanted in a horse,'' Heathcote thought to himself. ''She is just awesome.''
It doesn't get any better than that for a racing man - the world's best on his home track. The dream continued for Heathcote.''Then my bloke [Buffering] walked past her - wouldn't that be good [to see him pass her] on the track,'' Heathcote dreamed on.Suddenly reality struck.''It's not going to happen, I'm realistic about it,'' the Queenslander said, as if woken from a morning nap.Heathcote will be one of the brave few to send a horse out against two of the most feared sprinters in the world, Black Caviar and the hulking Hay List, in Saturday's group 1 BTC Cup at Doomben.He has seen Hay List race, and after a close-up view of the unbeaten Black Caviar, Heathcote would settle for third on Saturday in a race which may have only half-a-dozen starters but which has officials hoping crowd figures will exceed the 16,000 that came to see the great Gunsynd make a farewell appearance in an exhibition gallop at Doomben in 1973.''I'm hoping there are only three in it, and Buffering can run a good third,'' Heathcote said. ''My bloke is a talented little horse that tries his heart out but these are once-in-a-lifetime horses. The only way he could win is if they both have a day off - and that's not going to happen.''It will be Buffering's second run at group 1 level. He was fourth in the Coolmore Stakes at Flemington in the spring. The Mossman three-year-old has an impressive record, winning seven of his 12 starts, and the Coolmore was the only time he has missed a place.He has two group 2 victories to his credit, including in the Victory Stakes last start, which would usually entitle him to being close to favourite on Saturday.''He went into that run a little underdone because of a hoof problem, and he has improved a lot,'' Heathcote said. ''He is already in the Stradbroke, and these races, the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000, are the perfect lead-ups, so he has to run.''Just that we have to run into Black Caviar and Hay List is bad luck.''Buffering shares the third line of betting at $16, with dual group 1 winner and last year's BTC Cup runner-up Melito. Black Caviar is at $1.20 to continue her unbeaten run, with Hay List, the $5.50 second pick, considered her only real rival.Last year's winner, Albert The Fat, is a $31 chance and a certain starter but his trainer Paul Messara summed up what many are thinking heading into the best BTC Cup in history.''It a very different race to last year,'' he said. ''My bloke can't compete with Black Caviar and Hay List.''Heathcote wouldn't have it any other way as the Brisbane carnival draws more attention than it has for years. Even around the track, other trainers and jockeys want to have a look at the superstar.''You know who she is, and everyone is looking at her,'' Heathcote said. ''If you didn't know who she was, she is the sort of horse you take a second and third look because she has an aura about her, like all the good ones.''We all saw Hay List announce himself up here in the Healy Stakes last year - I can't remember the margin but it would have been eight or 10 lengths.''He went to Melbourne, and was the next big thing and won like it, and then has run into a once-in-a-generation horse [Black Caviar].''I live, speak and breathe racing, and I'm excited about having them up here.''Everyone up here is talking about them, the mainstream media, channels Seven and Nine want to show racing on the news, which is a great thing.''Next Saturday is going to the biggest day up here for years, and it is all because of Black Caviar and Hay List. We were just lucky to part of it.''
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