Evergreen sprinter Buffering led from start to finish to record his sixth Group 1 victory in the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot this afternoon.
Buffering was extremely well-backed in the lead-up to the Winterbottom Stakes and he was taken straight to the lead by jockey Damian Browne.
Browne was able to find the rail coming around the turn and Buffering kicked away from his rivals at the top of the straight to open up a winning margin that delivered him a second win in the Winterbottom Stakes in race record time.
Trainer Robert Heathcote admitted after the race that he was worried when Buffering did not open more of a lead on his rivals coming around the turn, but he was simply delighted to see his star galloper record another Group 1 victory.
“Eight-years-old and six Group 1s now,” Heathcote said.
“I was worried there at the corner, but I have to give so much credit, he just rode a beautiful race.
“He didn’t come charging over and he left something in the tank and he was too strong.
“I am just so incredibly proud, what a wonderful animal.
“He has won another Group 1.”
Buffering is set to have his next race start in the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast on January 9 and Heathcote revealed that the veteran gelding could head to Dubai and then potentially carry on to Royal Ascot.
“I got a phone call from Dubai the other day and I am keen to go there now in March,” Heathcote said.
“Then there is a place on the other side of Dubai – it is called Ascot.
“He is such a wonderful horse and if he is sound and happy and racing with the enthusiasm that he is then we will enjoy the journey.
“We have the Magic Millions to head to now, so we will get him home and if he comes through that in good order – Dubai is a nice place.”
Browne has put together a simply outstanding record on Buffering and he has steered the Mossman gelding to all six of his Group 1 victories.
The veteran hoop said that it was a painless ride in the Winterbottom Stakes from start to finish and he added that he would be keen to follow his favourite horse to Dubai and Royal Ascot.
“That was painless,” Browne said.
“Full credit to Rob and Mel and the whole team, they have really rejuvenated this old fellow and that is showing in the way that he is racing.
“He felt on top of his game and I was fairly comfortable the whole way.
“I knew that if I didn’t try too hard to try and get there I could kick a bit earlier and put a bit of pressure on before they get to the straight.
“He gave me a good kick.”
Watermans Bay stormed home in the final stages of the race to record yet another placing in the Winterbottom Stakes, while Fast ‘N’ Rocking also ran good closing splits to finish third in another Group 1.