Rob Heathcote is starting to doubt the chances of Buffering finally breaking their Group 1 maiden status at Doomben on Saturday after the gallant galloper drew a horror gate in the BTC Cup 2012 barrier draw.
The top fancy in a 15-horse field of acceptors for the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), Mossman four-year-old Buffering suffered an early blow drawing barrier 14.
Flying hoop Nash Rawiller has the ride on Saturday reuniting with Buffering for the first time since their second to last year’s BTC Cup winner Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Heathcote was admittedly disappointed with the alley and was hesitant to discuss tactics for Saturday’s challenge.
“I thought Buffering was nearly a good thing up until the barrier draw but his alley opens up the race now,” Heathcote said.
“I’ll probably leave it to Nash Rawiller to decide how best to ride him but I’m tipping we’ll be leading again.
“There’s no better judge than Nash Rawiller on a frontrunner.”
Although they are easing Buffering remains top of the BTC Cup odds at bookies around the country after their blistering seven length victory at Eagle Farm last Wednesday.
Heathcote’s other BTC Cup hopeful fared better with the barriers, Oakleigh Plate Woorim out for a form reversal from seven with Damian Browne riding.
Another top chance that has an awkward gate to overcome in the Cup is the Tony Gollan-trained Temple Of Boom with the ‘visitor’s draw’ 15 of 15.
The Piccolo five-year-old was last seen winning the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick on April 21 when ridden by James McDonald, the exciting Kiwi jockey retaining the ride this weekend.
“We certainly won’t be pushing him to go with Buffering,” Gollan said of the instructions McDonald would be given on how to ride Temple Of Boom from the wide gate.
Gollan will also be represented in the BTC Cup by Spirit Of Boom who was one of the big winners in the draw coming up trumps with two.
“Temple Of Boom’s draw is disappointing but I’m rapt with Spirit Of Boom’s draw,” Gollan continued.
“He’ll get an economical run now which is what we want as he’s getting ready for the Stradbroke.”
The Sequalo stallion, winner of the Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast back in January, goes into the BTC Cup second-up for the season after running second to Adebisi in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1100m) at Doomben on April 14.
Adebisi is also backing up in the BTC Cup on Saturday, Desleigh Forster’s Shovhog gelding out to improve on their dead last behind Buffering when unsuited to the Heavy (8) conditions at Eagle Farm last week.
Heathcote said that with the likes of Adebisi (barrier 12) and Clarry Conners’ speedy filly Satin Shoes (barrier 10) on Buffering’s inside it would ensure a good pace and keep him honest.
“Adebisi and Satin Shoes have a lot of speed inside us so that will makes things keen but I’d love my two to swap alleys,” he said.
“Buffering is proven at weight-for-age and is still the form runner after his efforts against the world’s two best sprinters Black Caviar and Hay List in Melbourne.”
Last year’s Doomben 10,000 winning mare Beaded meanwhile is likely to firm in her BTC Cup price after drawing barrier eight, Kerrin McEvoy to ride the best drawn of the early favourites.
Other horses with good gates include dual Stradbroke Handicap champion Black Piranha (3), and the lightly-raced John O’Shea-trained filly Sea Siren (5) who is heading towards this year’s Stradbroke on June 9.
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