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Robert Heathcote gains another accolade
17:45 AEST Mon Nov 25 2013

Robert Heathcote's unbridled joy at his spring carnival successes have earned him the Victorian Racing Media's personality of the year.

Queensland's premier trainer took perennial Group One placegetter Buffering to Melbourne where stepped up to win the Manikato Stakes and VRC Sprint in the absence of old foes Black Caviar and hay List.

Buffering added the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth on Saturday to bring his Group One tally to three.

Solzhenitsyn defended his Toorak Handicap title and another stablemate Fire Up Fifi upheld her end of the bargain with victory in the Blazer Stakes and a Group One third in the Myer Classic.

After watching Buffering win and Fire Up Fifi run third in the Group One Railway Stakes in Perth, Heathcote flew home to Brisbane on Sunday then travelled back to Melbourne to receive his award.

Buffering will also return home soon for a break with Heathcote targeting the Sydney autumn and the Brisbane winter.

Heathcote has ruled out a trip to Royal Ascot with the Hong Kong Sprint at the end of next year a more likely overseas target.

"The TJ Smith in Sydney is now a $2.5 million race and the lead-up to it, the Challenge Stakes is now worth $400,000," Heathcote said.

"If he was a colt it would be different and we might go overseas but he's a gelding and the money is too good here.

"I've also got a big stable to run and it would be too much time away."

Heathcote won the media award over Melbourne Cup winning trainer Gai Waterhouse, Chris Waller, Peter Moody and Glen Boss.

The award recognises a person's outstanding contribution to the industry and also their ability to communicate, liaise and assist with the media.