Pinch River has been disappointing this campaign, but trainer Robert Heathcote hopes the stable has solved the problem by adding new race gear.
Heathcote admits on paper it appears he may have over-matched Pinch River in the Group Two Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Pinch River has won five of his 15 starts and showed brilliant pace to lead the Weetwood Handicap field at Toowoomba two weeks ago before folding badly in the straight.
Heathcote, who is in Hong Kong preparing Buffering for the Chairman’s Sprint Prize on Sunday, has had long discussions by phone with staff about Pinch River.
“He has been disappointing in his two runs this campaign,” Heathcote said.
“The Victory Stakes has turned out to be a very good weight-for-age race with Group One performers such as Fell Swoop, Knoydart and Famous Seamus in it.
“Pinch River has been working well but in his races he has been coming back to scale like he is straight out of the paddock.
“But we think we might have found the reason why Pinch River has been going so badly.
“Pinch River could have been choking down so we have added a crossover noseband and a tongue tie. Hopefully that will be the basis for him to improve sharply.”
Heathcote has always believed Pinch River has the natural ability to be a stakes-winning horse.
“I have always had an opinion of him and things haven’t always gone right in his races,” he said.
“I have been quoted on occasions as saying Pinch River reminds me of a younger Buffering. Not in what they have done but in their look.
“Pinch River still has a long way to go but I would love him to show us something on Saturday.”
Heathcote has taken the Victory Stakes twice with Buffering while other top horses to win include Rough Habit, Srikandi, Swiss Ace, Chortle and Handy Proverb.
Rival trainer Tony Sears has put Weetwood winner Choice Bro in the Victory Stakes to find out the level the gelding has reached.
“He has won in Listed company and been placed in some other good races. We will see where we are at on Saturday,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au