Trainer Robert Heathcote often says how important Angie and Neil Duncan are to his stable and it will be reaffirmed when he saddles four top chances for the owners on Saturday.
Heathcote and the Duncans will be represented by Bidii Babe, Ingeegoodbee, Pinch Passion and Suggan Buggan at Doomben.
The Duncans are based at Bega in NSW but spend a lot of time in the Snowy Mountains where their activities often include breaking in brumbies.
They usually buy two or three horses each year and have about 12 in work at most times, the majority with Heathcote at Eagle Farm.
“They are friends with Wayne Purchase who was one of my original owners. The first horse I had for them was Punters Pride about 15 years ago,” Heathcote said.
“Since then we have had a lot of success and I think there will be a lot more to come.”
Heathcote trains recent stakes winner Pinch River for the Duncans and also has Pinch Memory, a most impressive two-year old-winner at Doomben last week.
“I think Pinch Memory can go on to be a force in the winter carnival. It was a very good win last week on a wet track which didn’t really suit him,” Heathcote said.
He said all four of the Duncans’ runners on Saturday had strong claims.
Biddii Babe was second behind Most Important in the Sunshine Coast Cup at her last start and takes on an easier race on Saturday.
“Biddii Babe is an example of why the Duncans are such a pleasure to train for. Biddii Babe has had a run of bad barriers but Ange and Neil take it in their stride,” Heathcote said.
“I can throw the toys out of the cot when barriers and the like go against us. But they just take it as part of racing.
“I don’t know where the stable would be without them.”
Heathcote said Ingeegoodbee, a last-start third at the Sunshine Coast, was at his top fitness-wise and just needed the race to be run at a strong pace.
“Pinch Passion is out to a distance which suits him and he is also ready to race well,” Heathcote said.
“But Suggan Buggan might be the best of the four. There is not much doubt he should have won the Magic Millions Country Cup.
“He had no luck getting a run at the 250-metre mark and really rocketed home. I thought he would win last Saturday but the race was washed out.”