He may have a double pronged attack in the 2012 BTC Cup at Doomben on Saturday but leading Brisbane trainer Rob Heathcote is still wary of the challenge Desleigh Forster’s galloper Adebisi will bring.
Triple stakes winning Shovhog four-year-old Adebisi looked in promising form first-up on April 14 when they ran away to win a Listed 1110m sprint at Doomben first-up an easy two and a half lengths clear of Spirit Of Boom.
Something went amiss last start however and the gelding failed to beat home any of their rivals when beaten over 22 lengths by Heathcote’s stable star Buffering in the Coca-Cola Amatil (1200m) at Eagle Farm on May 2.
It was a Heavy (8) track for the Amatil, which was the rescheduled replacement race for the washed out Victory Stakes, and Heathcote knows that on a drier track Adebisi is a genuine danger.
Heathcote has two livewire chances in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) this year with his Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim and of course the ultra-consistent Buffering.
With Show A Heart six-year-old Woorim having finished dead last at their two most recent runs including 17th of 17 in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 7, Buffering is the better fancied of the duo.
In fact the Mossman four-year-old is the sure to be BTC Cup betting favourite, Buffering having run a brave third behind Australia’s top two sprinters Black Caviar and Hay List in the race 12 months ago.
Having run top three in their four Group 1 assignments from November through until March, Buffering’s Coca-Cola Amatil victory was a seven length cracker and showed they were on track for their maiden Group 1 triumph on Saturday.
While Heathcote believes Woorim will be competitive and Buffering will be hard to beat, he will also have one eye on $26 roughie Adebisi.
“I still fear Adebisi. He probably can’t beat Buffering, but he can get him beaten,” he said.
“Having Nash Rawiller on certainly gives me that little bit more comfort because there’s no better judge of tempo than him.
“He’s the best front-running jockey in this country.”
As for Woorim he worked well in a track gallop with Buffering on Tuesday but future plans including the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at May 26 and $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1200m) on June 9 at Eagle Farm will rely on their BTC Cup performance.
“He needed to work to the line on the bit with the intent to hit the line,” Heathcote said.
“Melissa (Leitch) rode him and knows him better than anybody and the work gave me an affirmation that the horse is back and the desire is high to want to compete.
“In saying that, we still have to be a little bit reserved because it’s only when they are under extreme pressure that these things rear their ugly head.
“I really need to see him savage the line on Saturday to press on to the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke.”
The 2012 BTC Cup final field, which is also likely to include The Galaxy winner Temple Of Boom and Peter Snowden’s reigning 10,000 winner Beaded, is due out shortly.
After staving off retirement with an impressive track gallop on Tuesday morning Beaded is looking to bounce back after two below par runs earlier this season.
With her smart record in last year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival that also included Stradbroke Handicap and Tattersall’s Tiara second placings she is well liked to do so.
Buffering could only manage to finish fourth in the Stradbroke last year but Heathcote is confident he has come on well since and that he will be able to beat Beaded home in the BTC Cup the way he did when finishing second to her 11th in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.
“It’s fair to say she’s been off her game and Buffering took care of her comfortably in the Newmarket,” Heathcote said.
“You have to respect Peter Snowden.
“If he’s decided to come she’s obviously done everything he’s asked her to do, but I’m confident she’s meeting a much stronger and more accomplished sprinter in Buffering this year than she did last year.”
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