Robert Heathcote has achieved many things. He was a tour promoter in Europe and the U.S. He played A grade cricket against David Boon as a youngster in Tasmania, and he taught himself how to be a race horse trainer by reading endless numbers of book on animal husbandry and thoroughbred feeding habits. One thing Heathcote hasn’t done is train a Group One winner.
Heathcote, who took the plunge into being a self-taught horse trainer some 14 years ago has his best chance to break his Group One duck when Woorim and Buffering line up in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Woorim showed that he is capable of making the step up in grade required to win a Stradbroke when he impressively took out the BTC Sprint at Doomben in May.
Woorim produced an incredible finishing burst for jockey Damian Brown, who was subsequently suspended for careless riding meaning the task of delivering Heathcote his first Group One now falls into the capable hands of Corey Brown.
Brown himself was suspended for careless riding during the QTC Cup, however he will able to ride Woorim for Heathcote in the Stradbroke handicap.
“Woorim is my best chance and he needs a dry track which he looks like getting. I’ve looked at the forecast and it’s very encouraging.
“The day he won the BTC Sprint sent shivers up my spine.” Heathcote said.
Heathcote will also line up Buffering in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.
Buffering, who is owned in part by former Socceroos Craig Moore and Zeljko Kalac, comes into the Stradbroke off a disappointing run in the Doomben 10,000. Before that he ran third behind Black Caviar and Hay List in the BTC Cup.
“I’m completely forgiving him for that run. (In the Doomben 10,000) It was so out of character for him to miss the start the way he did.” Heathcote said.
Buffering’s regular rider Larry Cassidy will miss the Stradbroke meeting for the second year in a row because of suspension, meaning the task of steering Buffering now falls the way off Glyn Schofield.
Woorim is currently rated a $7.50 chance in the Stradbroke while Buffering is quoted at $26.00.