Heathcote Group 1 Hopes Fade As Black Caviar Talent Soars

Robert Heathcote’s hopes of an upset victory over Black Caviar in tomorrow’s $400,000 BTC Cup were dashed even further after he watched the superstar mare take part in a familiarisation gallop on Tuesday.

“If that was a familiarisation gallop then I’m in serious trouble,” Heathcote said.

Heathcote is realistic about Buffering’s chances up against the world’s best racehorse.

“If she runs up to her best I can’t beat her,” Heathcote said.

“I’ll be happy to get within six lengths of her.”

While Heathcote realises that a victory in tomorrow’s BTC Cup is unlikely, he is still confident in Buffering’s form following his Victory Stakes win.

“I made no secret Buffering went into the Victory Stakes off a setback when he hurt his foot,” Heathcote said.

“It was a major hiccup and he went into that race only 70 to 80 per cent fit.

“He’s taken a lot of improvement since then but it’s scary what Pete (Moody) did on Tuesday with his mare.

“He’s got the ability to park up on the speed.

“He’s shown under pressure he’s got that desire and willingness to really give it 100 per cent.”

Heathcote has told the jockey to ride Buffering in a more aggressive style to give him his best chance against Black Caviar.

“We’ll come out a little more aggressive tomorrow,” Heathcote said.

“We’ll certainly be going forward.

“I make it clear Buffering is going to lead and if anything wants to takes him on so be it,” he said.

Despite tomorrow’s result, Heathcote will be aiming Buffering at the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap on June 11.

“The winner of the Victory Stakes qualifies for an automatic start in the Stradbroke so he’s heading that way,” Heathcote said.

“It’s the logical path.

“The riders that have ridden him in the past have all said they don’t see a problem with him going 1,400 metres.”