Manikato Stakes 2014: Rob Heathcote stunned in-form Buffering fourth favourite for Moonee Valley sprint
ROB Heathcote says he can understand why wagering operators are making fistfuls of money when he takes a look at the market for Friday night’s Group 1 Manikato Stakes.
Buffering attempts a fifth Group 1 win in a return bout with Lankan Rupee on Friday, but the pair are being upstaged in pre-post betting by Chautauqua ($3.70 favourite with TattsBet) and Terravista ($4), who will be ridden by Nash Rawiller if Hugh Bowman fails in his appeal on Tuesday.
Hawkes Racing is yet to commit to a start for Chautauqua, with a decision said to be coming Tuesday morning.
Even so, Heathcote finds it baffling that a score on the board doesn’t count for much.
“You’ve got Lankan Rupee, who was the highest rated sprinter in the world just a few weeks ago and Buffering, who has won four Group 1 races, playing second fiddle to the two up and comers,” he said.
“Terravista has been impressive, but he’s never taken on anything like what he’s going to face on Friday night. And it’s a similar story with Chautauqua. They’re both promising, but are they entitled to be ahead of the other two in the market? No wonder bookies are rich.”
Returning to the race in which he broke his Group 1 duck in last year, Buffering is still at the top of his game according to the trainer.
“I’m going there with a level of confidence as high as I’ve had in two years,” Heathcote said.
“He’s as good as he can be. I’m looking forward to it.”
Mick Price galloped Lankan Rupee at home on Saturday and will not take him to Moonee Valley on Tuesday.
Price believes the triple Group 1 winner is over the foot issue which kept him out of last week’s Schillaci Stakes.
Other Manikato runners include Tony Gollan’s Temple Of Boom, Moment Of Change, Rebel Dane, Platelet, Famous Seamus, Bounding, Angelic Light and Not Listenin’tome.