Queensland sprinter Woorim will be given the opportunity to defend his title in the Group 1 2013 Oakleigh Plate which will take place at Caulfield in late February.
The Show A Heart gelding delivered trainer Robert Heathcote his breakthrough Group 1 win when producing a stunning finish to come from the back of the field and edge out Elite Falls on the line last year.
He is likely to be the only Heathcote-trained runner at the 2013 Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, with Buffering set to contest events later in the autumn in Sydney.
“At this stage it’ll only be the one, just Woorim going down [to Melbourne],” Heathcote told Radio Sports National.
“Hopefully he can defend his Oakleigh Plate crown.
“He’s on track, he’s back in the stable. Probably like his trainer he’s a few kilos overweight but we’ll trim him down come race time.”
Now seven, Woorim has won 11 of 42 starts but had only won as high as Group 3 level before taking out last year’s Oakleigh Plate.
Following the Oakleigh Plate, Woorim finished fifth in the Group 1 Handicap before a respiratory problem affected the rest of his autumn and winter campaign and he failed to make an impact in his next four starts.
He was on track to join stablemates Buffering and Solzhenitsyn and the Melbourne Spring Carnival but a tendon problem ended his campaign before it even began.
Buffering, regarded as one of the best horses in the country yet to win at Group 1 level, will be set for a possible match-up with Australia’s best horse Black Caviar in the Group 1 2013 TJ Smith.
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