Story and Photos courtesy of Graham Potter and www.horseracingonly.com.au
By Robert Heathcote | Thursday, October 6, 2011
Robert Heathcote is the leading racehorse trainer in Brisbane. 'Rob's Shout' - the personal blog of the multi-premiership winning trainer will appear every Thursday on HRO.
Whilst Buffering only finished fourth, I have to say that I believe his run in the Manikato was the gutsiest run of his career.
It was always our plan to go out hard and to try and 'soften' up Sepoy. Both Damian and I believed if there was to be a chink in his armour, this was how we could exploit it.
It very nearly worked as McEvoy later said that a few more strides of pressure and he would have pulled back and given the lead to Damian.
The tactics of going all out for the win probably cost us a chance of running second or third as I have no doubt that the winner, if not already in the superstar category, is well on the way to gaining that status.
I have no regrets about the way Buffering was ridden and Damian did exactly as I had asked him to. I see where, the 'expert', Richard Freedman called Damian's ride suicidal on Racing Retro. I just love these experts. I'd love to know what he would have done to try and beat Sepoy!
The bottom line is I was thrilled with the courage that our little bulldog displayed. Whilst he is very competitive at the elite Group 1 level, he probably just lacks the class to get him over the line, but we remain optimistic that his day in the sun may come in the future at the elite level.
The winner was simply invincible. I have been privileged to have seen Black Caviar race, Might And Power and even Makybe Diva and Sunline, but I have a feeling that this lad will also go to their level.
The second horse, Sister Madly had a charmed run behind Sepoy and a 2kg pull on Buffering. More Joyous had the same pull over him. She also had a lovely covered run behind the speed and she only just nailed the Buff on the line for third place.
Buffering was entitled to throw the towel in after all the work he had done but, to his credit, he fought it out right to the line.
How's this look on his CV. He has recently been beaten by Black Caviar, Hay List, Sepoy and More Joyous, all in Group 1s and he has had to give them all a weight concession.
Just bloody bad luck that he has bumped into a generation of super sprinters.
Buffering is not a big horse so to be competitive at Weight For Age against the best sprinters in the land is testimony to how well our little champ is going.
I still believe that his best racing is ahead of him as he has yet to reach physical maturity. He still hasn't reached four years of age. (Although he's four by the official age system, he is actually a November foal).
He seems to have come out of the tough run in good order. He ate up well over-night after the race. He walked out of his box nice and free although I could tell he knew he had had a tough run. He had an anti-inflammatory to have him feeling better and he's expected to bounce back in the next few days.
It's a tough call to make regarding his next race start! It’s either another date with Black Caviar or another duel with Sepoy.
Caulfield Cup day in two weeks has a Group 2 1100m Sprint. It's a handicap and I read this morning that it may be Sepoy’s next race start.
I will be interested to see how the weights compare between Sepoy and Buffering. I expect we may even get some weight off him this time, but I will makeenquiries on that with the handicappers. The other option is to head back to the Valley in three weeks for the 1200 WFA race which has been earmarked for
It may be an option to race for 'second prize' in that race. It's an option we can consider after we assess the weights for the Caulfield sprint race.
The Salinger at Flemington on Derby day, which is also a Group 2 handicap, is then another race option on October 30. I would expect Tony Gollan to run his little superstar Temple Of Boom in that race as well. What a fantastic win for him in the Gilgai on Sunday.
Great to see the locals doing so well. (Ok, I know he's from Toowoomba but the Mexicans don't know that!)
I do expect that Buffering will have only the four runs this prep as we saw last prep that, as he gives his all in each race, he can burn out easily. He can then spell with his next goal/target being the AJC Galaxy in the Autumn. Of course nothing is set in concrete and we can be flexible.
It was a shame the Friday night at the Valley was spoiled a bit with the inclement Melbourne weather, but it did not distract from the excitement of the evening. I left the course once again mightily proud of the job our little Bulldog did.
I would also like to say what a great job Melissa is doing with my team in Melbourne. No rest for the wicked as they say and Mel's total commitment is clearly evident in the performance of the runners.
John Thompson from Patinack and of course his boss, Mr Tinkler and staff get a huge vote of thanks from me. Their hospitality in looking after us at their Flemington stables is second to none … as I have experienced previously.
We may be fighting out the premiership against them at home in Brisbane but I do wish sincerely wish them every success … as long as it's not against me eh! Two nice winners for them last Saturday has squared us up in the title race, so bring it on!
The decision to run Woorim on the rain affected track with 61.5kg on his back was a tough one which his owner’s agonized over throughout the day.
In hindsight I believe it may have been the right call as he's had a good solid hit out after a quiet week on the track, but just as easily he could have headed direct onto the Toorak next week.
He was not happy in the conditions early in the race, maybe because he was on the part of the track which had been chopped up a bit in the earlier races. Damian thought he was going to be a tailed off last coming past the 600 and it was only when he got him out into the better ground that Woorim started to travel.
His effort to really hit the line under the 61.5kg was a real eye catcher. I think his run over the mile dispelled the doubts of him getting the distance.
Yes, he is certainly a real challenge to train and a bit of an enigma who does need things to go his way, especially regarding the track conditions. A genuine Dead 4 I think rates as the ideal conditions for him. Damian made me laugh when he came back in with his simple comment, 'you sure earn your money with this guy!'
He is a unique horse and that's why we are always confident when D Browne has the ride.
Woorim also walked out of his box in great order the morning after the race which is an excellent sign from him as he's been known to put in a short one the day following a race.
Having horses on two fronts at home and also in Melbourne sure is a challenge particularly with the recent Qantas industrial action.
The flights down to Melbourne were seriously delayed with one of Buff’s owners getting shunted from an 8am flight to a 5pm flight so he only just made it for Buffering's race. He did say though that the unique Moonee Valley experience was still worth the trip.
The return journey back to Brisbane was just as frustrating with long delays on the tarmac. It meant I just made it to the first race back in Brisbane on Saturday to see Bevico Girl and the ride Jimmy gave her.
It would probably have been better if I missed the race. Jim knows he was a touch impatient getting into a stoush with one on his outside when he was following the favourite and the eventual winner, Strip Show. Still, Bevico Girl raced well. She has now gone for a little break as the racing schedule doesn't suit her for the next five or six weeks.
Old Eureka ran an honest race to pick up another ten grand cheque for second place, so he's paying his way and the owner is having some fun with him!
Red God has his hoof right on the till. He got knocked off by a real roughie, who incidentally was specked by his trainer. Good on him.
I see the usual knockers are bagging the race as weak etc because a long shot got up but, as I always say, 'where are their horses to compete in these races'?
Red God can go through to Open company. He did a good job to just miss out over the 1800 at his third run back. He's just about right now!
Il Cardinale was also a bit stiff with the leader in his race getting away with some soft sectionals when young Keane allowed Eddie W to cruise along in front. Il Cardinale hit the line nicely and another couple of hops he would have won. He didn't, but that did not diminish the quality of his run and I was very happy with his effort. He did his best and that's all I ask for as the trainer.
Captain Clayton got involved in a scrum up the running and he got galloped on so he can be forgiven his result. He has had no luck at his two runs back, but he has ability.
Anyway, if I thought the flight home on Saturday morning was frustrating, it was well matched by my Eagle Farm scorecard … three second placing's, an unlucky third and horse galloped on for the day!.
Still, we sneaked a winner home on Sunday when Bribie cruised to a comfortable win to start living up to the nice opinion I have always had of him.
Yes, it was an exciting couple of days once again and I expect nothing less again this upcoming weekend!
Website Designed By