Brisbane’s premier trainer Robert Heathcote may have conceded his in-form galloper Buffering is running for third at best behind top duo Black Caviar and Hay List in Saturday’s BTC Cup, but he is as happy as anyone that the stars are in town.
Heathcote is one of the many thousands of Black Caviar fans who are getting feverish with anticipation waiting to see her power and ability on display first-hand when Peter Moody saddles her up in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Black Caviar is the horse in Australia and deservedly so with 12 straight wins to her name and over $3.2 million in prize money to show for her trouble.
She is now the raging favourite paying around $1.14 to record her 13th on the trot followed in the BTC Cup odds by gun sprinter Hay List and the brave Buffering.
“We could have avoided this race but the owners are more excited to be in it,” Heathcote said.
Last start Buffering showed good form winning the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) first-up at Eagle Farm, but the Mossman three-year-old has a far more daunting task on Saturday.
As well as the nerves, however, Heathcote also has a belly full of butterflies of the excited kind over the opportunity to run one of his against the world’s best.
“I’m excited, and the general public are talking about it, that’s what’s exciting,” he said.
Buffering suffered a blow drawing wide with barrier seven of eight in the BTC Cup field while the brilliant Black Caviar again had the cards fall her way coming up with the ideal gate four draw.
Still, Heathcote is confident Buffering will get a good run down the Doomben straight and will be able to hit the front early to hopefully, but unlikely, lead-all-the-way to racing’s biggest upset of the decade.
“Buffering is going to lead,” Heathcote said.
“You want to take us on, so be it!
“We’ll see Hay List leading and us sitting on him with Black Caviar tracking.
“I’m not writing off Melito either.
“Buffering will be in there somewhere.”
Heathcote holds only the smallest of hopes that Buffering will pull it off on Saturday and hand the trainer his maiden elite level success.
Having enjoyed plenty of success around the Aussie tracks, Heathcote is yet to win a Group 1.
He came very close when his Show A Heart gelding Woorim ran a game third, beaten just half a length by Response in Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last September.
“I would be public enemy number one,” Heathcote said if Buffering scored a boilover.
“It’s the pinnacle of our sport for a trainer to win a Group 1.
“Every purist within the industry just admires her (Black Caviar) for what she is.
“We’re lucky to have two at the moment with Hay List.
“But at the end of the day it’s a horse race.”
Meanwhile, Queensland-bred Moody has his fingers crossed just in case for his favourite horse.
He knows Black Caviar will be near impossible to beat, but with the eyes of the world on her this Saturday Moody just wants her to continue the dream.
“It’s an honour to be alongside her,” he said.
“It’s not a dream come true, it’s beyond a dream.
“She’s the star on Saturday; I hope she still is on Sunday.”