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Proud moment for Heathcote if Deep Image wins The Buffering

By Glenn Davis

Talented sprinter Deep Image will be out to prove his first Black-Type win in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes two weeks ago was no fluke when the gelding starts in The Buffering at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Deep Image was a $150,000 buy at the Magic Millions sales and is being aimed at the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 11.

The son of Testa Rossa was trained early in his career at the Sunshine Coast by David Vandyke and promised much winning four times.

However, he proved a difficult horse to train at Caloundra before he was transferred to the joint training partnership of Rob Heathcote and Chris Anderson at Eagle Farm after being sold at an on-line auction.

The pair struck immediate success with Deep Image who won a Benchmark race at Eagle Farm in September before the co-trainers went their own way leaving Heathcote to train the six-year-old.

Since being in Heathcote’s sole care, Deep Image is yet to miss a place with two wins and as many placings from four starts including his latest win in the Lough Neagh Stakes.

“He’s a quirky horse but he’s still on the way up and could even be a winter carnival horse next year,” Heathcote said.

Deep Image drew the near outside gate in his Lough Neagh Stakes victory but has drawn midfield in gate seven in The Buffering.

“He drew wide in the Lough Neagh Stakes which is what we wanted but barrier seven is an ideal draw,” Heathcote said.

Heathcote will take great satisfaction if Deep Image wins the Buffering which is named after the trainer’s former champion sprinter, multiple Group 1 winner Buffering.

“I’ve never had a runner in this race but I’ll get a lot of personal pride if we can win a race named after Buffering,” Heathcote said.

While Heathcote was happy with Deep Image’s draw, Team Edmonds had no joy when Tyzone drew the outside gate 14 in the 1400-metre feature.

Tyzone is not a product of the Magic Millions sales making him ineligible for the gala race day at the Gold Coast.

However, he can become a player if he wins The Buffering which carries a wildcard entry in the 1200-metre Magic Millions Cup.

Tyzone ran second to Trekking in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm in the winter before embarking on a spring campaign in Melbourne.

He had two runs in Melbourne finishing just behind the placegetters when eighth to Sunlight in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington in October before a sixth in the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes at Flemington last month.

He had his first start for the summer when fourth to Deep Image in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes at Eagle Farm on December 14.

Racing Queensland webnews   December 27