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Defending champion Woorim is safe and sound in Melbourne for the Group 1 2013 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday but he nearly didn’t make it.
Complications with the plane from Brisbane on Tuesday night turned a routine trip into an arduous six-hour journey.
But after eventually arriving safely in Melbourne, trainer Robert Heathcote is confident his charge can produce another strong performance in the $400,000 sprint.
Woorim produced an upset result to fly home from the back of the field to deliver Heathcote’s first Group 1 title.
The leading Brisbane trainer believes the son of Show A Heart is the perfect horse for the high-pressure environement that is generally present in the Oakleigh Plate.
“There will be plenty of pressure in the Oakleigh Plate. There always is,” Heathcote told AAP.
“That type of scenario will suit Woorim perfectly.”
Woorim is a a $16 chance and will carry joint 58kg topweight, 2.5kg than he carried to victory last year.
The Queensland galloper has been largely missing from the scene since the biggest win of his career due to illness and injury.
He finished fifth in the Newmarket Handicap following the Oakleigh Plate before a virus affected the rest of his autumn and winter performances.
A tendon injury in trackwork then saw him miss the entire spring.
It will be no easy feat to go back-to-back though, with some quality sprinters lining up in the 14-horse field.
Unbeaten Perth sprinter is the favourite at $3.40 ahead of three-year-old filly Shamal Wind ($6) and triple Group 1 winner Ortensia ($6.50).
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