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Premiership winning Brisbane trainer Rob Heathcote has confirmed the spring carnival plans for his stable stars Woorim and Buffering.
Heathcote has indicated that he will take a large team of horse to the Melbourne spring carnival, however Woorim and Buffering will represent the first wave of runners that Heathcote sends south.
Heathcote, who is looking to break his Group One duck, confirmed that Woorim’s main goal would be the 1400m Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, while Buffering’s will target the Group One Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Woorim finished third in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes last year, and Heathcote confirmed that the gelding would have one start in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne.
“Woorim will have his first start here (Doomben) on August 27 then will fly to Melbourne with Buffering,” Heathcote said.
“His second run will be in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, the same race he finished third behind Response last year.”
Woorim’s hasn’t started since winning his second consecutive Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast in July.
Heathcote also confirmed that Buffering would resume in the Group Two Ian McEwen Trophy at Moonee Valley over 1000m before going on to the Group Manikato Stakes at the same track over 1200m.
However Heathcote was uncommitted as to where he would send the four year old after that.
“I’m not sure what he’ll run in after the Manikato Stakes, but I’ll be avoiding Black Caviar at all costs right throughout the spring,” he said.
Buffering is coming off a Brisbane winter carnival where he announced himself as a quality sprinter. He won the BRC Victory Stakes before finishing third in the BTC Cup behind Black Caviar and Hay List. After a disappointing Doomben 10,000, he was able to battle on for fourth in Stradbroke Handicap and Healy Stakes. However despite the gruelling winter carnival, Heathcote believes the four year gelding can be a major player in the spring.
“Buffering has been in work for three weeks. He had four weeks in the paddock after the winter and he’s done brilliantly. Unfortunately, I probably won’t have time to give him a barrier trial here before he goes away.” Heathcote said.
The fact that Buffering will go into his next start without a trial should not be a major concern for Heathcote, as the horse is undefeated when resuming from a spell.
Heathcote also confirmed that he would stable his horses at Flemington during the spring.
“I’ve been given approval to stable my team at Flemington and there’ll be a few others go down there and join them later on,” he said.
Heathcote is also considering a spring raid with talented mares Fillydelphia and Funtantes as well as Work the Room and Our Lukas.
Heathcote also confirmed that jockey Damian Browne would be offered rides on both Woorim and Buffering throughout the 2011 Melbourne spring racing carnival.
Heathcote has nominated Woorim for the Cox Plate, however everything would need to go right for the horse if he was to even gain a start. Nevertheless, he is currently rated a $151.00 chance in the Cox Plate.
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