Caloundra Cup 2015: Robert Heathcote confident Volkhere can peak for Sunshine Coast feature
ROBERT Heathcote gave Queensland something to cheer about at the weekend and he is upbeat he can do the same again when the winter carnival show rolls on to the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Heathcote and fellow Brisbane trainer Liam Birchley were the only two Queensland trainers to taste success on the opening day of the Brisbane winter carnival with Bewhatyouwannabe (Members Handicap) and Blueberry Hill (Champagne Classic) respectively, as NSW-trained horses claimed the other seven feature races.
Heathcote is light on winter carnival contenders this year after dual Group 1 winner Solzhenitsyn was retired last winter and his stable sprint star Buffering suffered a minor fetlock injury in a trackwork mishap in March.
Volkhere ran second to subsequent Doomben Cup winner Pornichet in the Toowoomba Cup on May 2 and beat home stablemate Hopfgarten in the process, who also franked the form with a fifth in the Doomben Cup on Saturday.
Heathcote said the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) had always been Volkhere’s main goal this campaign and he felt the six-year-old had never been going any better.
“I’ve always thought Volkhere was a pretty good stayer and his run in the Toowoomba Cup was very good,” he said.
“The track is not going to be firm and he is well suited to the give in the ground which we invariably get at the Sunshine Coast at this time of the year even if the weather is fine.
“He will love the 2400m and he is a front running horse, so he ticks a lot of boxes.”
Meanwhile, Heathcote also revealed plans to take Hopfgarten to Melbourne with Buffering this spring.
The trainer couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated after watching the BTC Cup on Saturday.
Buffering would have been a major fancy in the BTC Cup this year but instead is in the paddock and will be set for a first-up tilt at the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in September.