By Robert Heathcote | Thursday, May 19, 2011
Robert Heathcote is the leading racehorse trainer in Brisbane. 'Rob's Shout' - the personal blog of the premiership winning trainer will appear every Thursday on HRO.Hello again,I have had some wonderful days at the races in my short training career to date but last Saturday was certainly a very special day for me and will be long remembered.It has been a huge start to the carnival for the stable with three group wins already in the bag and, but for a bigger slice of the 'luck pie', we could have won another couple last Saturday with Gundy Son just missing out and Work The Room very stiff to be held up at a vital time.Running third in the Group 1 BTC Cup with Buffering, as some of his owners said after the race, was like a WIN behind the two best sprinters in this land so he did us proud.It was such an exciting day to have the presence of the 'best racehorse' in the world on display. We were honoured to be there to see her let alone race against her and stand in the place-getters stall as she came back to scale. She is an awesome unit!A lot of credit must also go to John McNair and his star, Hay List. John has impressed me with his handling of the media and the gracious manor in which he handled yet another defeat at the hands of this 'machine'!
Good luck in the future with him John! You deserve everything that comes your way. Maybe stay away from BC, eh!
They said on the radio you thought I could win the Straddie with Buffering. I hope you are as good a judge as you are a horse trainer!Pete Moody and Luke Nolen … well enough has been said about what awesome ambassadors they have been for the racing industry.They should name a race after them after the manner in which they have conducted themselves during their short time in Brisbane. Now that's not a bad idea … Obie, get onto it! Good luck in the Doomben 10,000 guys. I do hope I can beat you, but I know in my heart that I cannot with Buffering because you are simply too good for us. As I have said in the past though, if they do not turn up with their A games on the day, we may be able to exploit their weaknesses.They are just so formidable though. Bloody awesome machines!I was very happy with Buffering's run in the BTC Cup and I predicted pre-race a losing margin of six or seven lengths if the mare ran up to her usual form. We got chinned by 6.70 lengths so the Buff has run up to his best, in my opinion, under the weight for age conditions.Scary what Larry said to me after the race but I will leave that to him to tell you!There's plenty of talk about whether we should dodge the two stars in the 10,000, but our grand final has always been the Stradbroke.Whilst there are still plenty of unknowns for us in that race, we are already in the field. He will only carry the 51 kilos. We believe he can get the 1400m. He can travel up on the speed or take a sit and he handles all types of ground.His biggest asset is that he has the heart of a lion so I believe to run him two weeks before the Stradbroke is the best path to a Straddie win.There will be fifteen others trying to win Queensland’s greatest handicap race so I am under no illusion how tough it is going to be.It is a proud moment to have a runner in the race and those who do not see that point have never dared to dream the dream! The person who wins is always the one who thinks he can! The alternative to running in the 10,000 is a set weights three-year-old race the following week which would then require a week back-up into the Stradbroke.That's not the way to go about winning a million dollar race in my opinion! (How would I know anyway … I have never done it previously … but dreams are free right !).Yes, getting smashed again by BC and HL isn't great either, but it's the lesser of the two evils in my opinion!Throw in Beaded and a host of other stars and it's a cracking race once again, but it is the right race for a lead up run into the Straddie!No doubt it will be another sensational day of racing on 10,000 day!I publicly stated last Saturday at the BTC Cup day was the best day’s racing I have ever attended. Of course I am biased. I had a group winning double on the day!I am still on a high and it’s five days after the race day, but I am enjoying a glass of Henshke Red as I write this!Seriously though, a huge pat on the back to the BRC team for a top day.Sure, there were the expected huge crowd problems with catering, long food and drink queues and waits to get into the track, but, overall, a huge pass mark for the BRC and the staff.Speaking on Racing Retro I thanked the CEO, Steve Ferguson, his 2IC in Darren Condon, Prue and their marketing team. Also Billy Shuck and Sean Bridges and there many, many others who deserved recognition also.I know Mark Williams did a herculean effort to get all the construction done and in time.Thanks to you for all of your efforts and I hope the success of the the day was ample enough reward.Guess what? You get to do it all again on Saturday and hopefully all through the carnival. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us now that the experts' tell us now that the 'La Nina event' is officially over! I don't know who sucks the hardest on a cigarette these days, Pete Moody, Mark Williams … and even Bill can give em a good work out! Back to the racing and, wow, a group winning double for me in the space of 40 minutes.Saturday was awesome for me with the double arriving after the frustrations of the first three races where my team had all raced well, but had been unlucky.Sure, we were not confident of winning with Humma, but so many people seem to forget that we have been racing on wet tracks for what seems like an eternity.A return to drier tracks may well see a lot of form from the last few months thrown out the window … so beware punters!A run of better tracks will see the form stand up more consistently so hang in there.Cut us some slack guys. The wet tracks have killed us just as it did with Humma’s last start … a fifth and a.solid enough run though to be fair!Humma's win did give me a special buzz as so many had underestimated him. He did recently win the Toowoomba cup so it was anything but a form reversal?Having the lads there as well made it a lot of fun also.Big Spider Kalac, Craig Moore and Slugger Krslovic just added to the fun. Sherriff Iskander and Suman Hedge have kept faith in me and given me free rein with Humma so it's just reward for them also! It is so satisfying to be winning a Group 3 race with an older horse. The narks will say it was a shitty form race, but you cannot take away the thrill we all got on Saturday and the drinks back at the stables sure tasted good!Anything else he does this prep will just be a bonus. The old bugger owes us nothing! The second leg of my group winning double was Fillydelphia.Any punter out there only had to read the stewards report from her last 'four' runs to see the trouble she has had been in so I fail to see where her run was in fact a form reversal as universally reported in the media.I had publicly stated in the media that we had a significant gear change and a rider change.Everything went to script for Luke Nolen and Fillydelphia had the perfect run and she sprinted clear for a very strong win.The time wasn't flash, but she is now a Group 3 winner and the owners didn't give a toss what time she ran as long as it was faster than the second horse!Frank and Pauline, the owners of Fillydelphia, kept the faith as obviously some astute punters did as well as I noted her price went from about 12’s into nine bucks so good on you for listening to me.I didn't back her as I couldn't get near a tote machine, but do you think I was still happy?After the race I ran around like an idiot singing out, 'I told ya’s …I told ya's, there was nothing wrong with her!I am only just getting my voice back and it’s Wednesday night!Mind you, I did scream out at the 300m, 'here she comes'.Please forgive me if you thought I was over the top, but her win did give me a lot of personal satisfaction.I actually think it was the removal of the blinkers which made the big difference so Larry is totally excused … well nearly!I simply cannot believe that so many think there is always something sinister involved when a horse gets beat. Talking through their pockets I guess!Some of the racing public/punters should come to track-work more often and improve their knowledge of exactly what does go on behind the scenes to get horses to the races fit and sound!Yes, punting does drive the wheels of this industry and it’s why we have the stewards to ensure the integrity remains intact and they do a damn good job, and probably, at many times, it is a thankless task at that! They produce stewards reports on a regular basis, but I am convinced most punters simply do not read them! Their complaints on the various web-sites often confirm that fact to me! Fillydelphia may well now go onto the Grand Prix and then I will back her up into the Oaks as I really believe this will suit her! I will assess her as I get closer to the race!It’s time here where I must also say a special thank-you to my own team who do a superb job behind the scenes.My wonderful wife Vicky who gives them a 'special' race day shampoo, skilful manipulation with her hands and a loving touch and a soothing word.Melissa who is my back up with everything I forget. Little Mellie, Mikey, Sparg's, Big Toad, Renita, Stevie, Deb and way too many others to mention here that make it all happen.You are all a part of the team. The carnival sure puts a spring into all of our steps What is that add in the movies says, 'the winter carnival is where all our hard work pays off'!You guys do make me proud!Yeah, Dinner next week at the creek courtesy of Moorey, Slugger and Spider. Ta Guys!I have another big stable representation coming up this Saturday for the big day again at Doomben.I am under absolutely no illusion how hard it will be to win a race, but we will be there trying our hardest!Sure, it's quite conceivable that we could miss a place with the whole lot. It's simply that hard at this time of year and luck is such a vital ingredient, but I do approach the days racing with the knowledge that we have a great set up at home, I have a great team of staff and I go into the days racing with the knowledge that we are all doing our best. The showers forecast are a bit of a concern as I do know that 'my best horse' Woorim (big call eh, maybe second best?), just hates the wet and he is desperate to get into the Straddie with a win and a penalty in the BRC Sprint.Hidden Kisses is flying, but she also needs the top of the ground while Funtantes can be forgiven for her last start failure on the Gold Coast track.Funny what a difference a week can make in this caper. I hit a brick wall at that the Gold Coast with six runners and yet we have a double, a second and three thirds a week later on a tough day’s racing at DoombenWhat does that tell you? I can't train a horse to win at the Gold Coast. Simple reallyHorses for courses I guess?I see a press release from the Queensland Racehorse Owners Association talks about the desperate need for an increase in the midweek prize money levels as well as maidens and Tab provincial Class 1s.The reply from Racing head quarters at Deagon does little to inspire confidence about our future?Concerning indeed and maybe even understandable but, phew, it is still a real kick in the guts!Whoops, that's encroaching on the politics of racing and I swore I would never do that again!Later.Robert
Website Designed By