Trainer Robert Heathcote is confident BTC Cup scratching Buffering will recover from a hoof injury in time to continue his assault on the Brisbane Winter Carnival feature sprint races.


Buffering has been scratched from the BTC Cup - © Daniel Costello

Heathcote was forced to withdraw the reigning Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) favourite from Doomben after the four year old pulled up sore after light work on Friday morning.

Stable vet Dr Phillip Burguez gave Buffering a 50-50 chance yesterday to recover from a stone bruise and line up in the Group 1 sprint today while Heathcote was hopeful when the gelding showed signs of improvement yesterday afternoon.

“I gave him a long walk on a walking machine this afternoon and he seems fine.”

“We’ve been soaking his hoof in epsom salts and I’m quietly confident he’ll be right,” Heathcote said Friday afternoon.

But Brisbane Racing Club vet Dr Martin Lenz had the last say this morning and failed to pass Buffering fit to compete at Doomben today.

Heathcote will now have two weeks to get Buffering one hundred per cent fit for the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben before deciding on a start in the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.

Stablemate Woorim is the lone representative for Heathcote in the  WFA race and the premier trainer is hoping the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner has overcome a virus that saw his Sydney Autumn Carnival form tapper away.

The BTC Cup has turned into an open betting race with the scratching of the short priced favourite and the Joe Pride trained Title leaving John O’Shea’s three year old filly Sea Siren at the top of the market at $5.50.

Woorim is now sharing the second line of betting at $7 with Miss Varenna followed by Beaded and Neeson at $8.

Likely leader Adebisi is at $15 and if Chris Munce can cross the field from an outside draw and get an easy run in front, might be hard to run down while last start Group 1 Galaxy winner Temple of Boom ($11) will be running on strongly at the finish.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.