Brisbane’s leading trainer Robert Heathcote isn’t backing away from the challenge presented by Hay List in Friday night’s 2012 William Reid Stakes confident his two Moonee Valley-bound hopefuls Buffering and Woorim will give the favourite a run for their money.
Heathcote nominated for both Buffering and his Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim in the $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) this year hopeful of upsetting Hay List’s attempts of adding a fourth elite level title to his record.
“I am confident of a big run from both my horses on Friday night without being confident of beating Hay List,” Heathcote said.
“But he’s there to be beaten and you can’t beat him if you are home in the box.”
Always honest Mossman four-year-old Buffering, who has finished top four in seven of his eight attempts at elite level, was narrowly run down by Hay List last start when the duo ran the Newmarket Handicap quinella at Flemington on March 10.
Buffering held the obvious weight advantage there with just 54.5kg to Hay List’s 58.5kg, but still John McNair’s hulking galloper had too much class for the boy from Brisbane.
This time Buffering and Hay List will meet equal in the weights on 58.5kg.
Based on that alone Hay List will likely open odds-on in the William Reid Stakes odds at bookmaker.com.au later in the week.
Still, Heathcote remains hopeful that if they can get away well Buffering will make Hay List’s task a tough one again.
“Hay List has the runs on the board but I can openly say that he won’t get a soft lead around the Valley in the William Reid,” Heathcote said.
“Buffering is a determined, dogged little bugger and eh will jumping and running and if Hay List wants to take him on good luck because I have got on out the back that might be smoking home.”
That “one out the back” is Show A Heart six-year-old Woorim who is also not without their chances of a top three of four finish having backed up from their Oakleigh win, Heathcote’s first Group 1 success, to run a credible fifth in the Newmarket Handicap.
Heathcote hopes that Saturday will again show just how good a sprinter Buffering is, the triple Group winner having been underrated over the years in opinion of his trainer, when he returns to the track where he won the Group 3 McEwen Stakes (1000m) last August.
“It is fair to say he got under the radar the last 12 or 18 months because of me as his trainer and being a visiting horse from Queensland,” Heathcote said.
“Even when he ran third to Black Caviar and Hay List in the Lightning Stakes last month it was considered a good run and about his best.
“However, I think the Newmarket where he put two lengths on a pretty good field and got nailed by the best male sprinter, stands him as a genuine, quality sprinter.”
Other notable William Reid Stakes 2012 nominees include Jim Conlan’s resuming Cox Plate and Mackinnon Stakes third placegetter Rekindled Interest, the Peter Snowden-trained multiple Group 1 performing mare Beaded, Robert Smerdon’s Goodwood winner but Newmarket failure Lone Rock and the John O’Shea-trained Foxwedge who ran third in the Newmarket and who under the weight-for-age conditions of the William Reid will carry the 56kg light weight.
The 2012 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes final field will be released tomorrow followed by the online betting markets at bookmaker.com.au.
Join bookmaker.com.au today and get ready for the Friday night racing action at the Valley!