Buffering has the opportunity to make history by becoming the first horse to win the Manikato Stakes (1200m), VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in the same year and jockey Damien Browneis confident that the leading sprinter can complete the hat-trick of Group 1 events at Ascot tomorrow.
It took former perennial bridesmaid Buffering eighteen starts at Group 1 level to record his maiden win at the highest level of racing in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 25 but he was able to add a second Group 1 win to his racing resume in the VRC Sprint Classic just a fortnight later.
Browne has partnered Buffering in ten of his 37 career starts and he believes that the son of Mossman has gone to another level during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; with the six-year-old easily in the best form of his career heading into the Winterbottom Stakes this weekend.
“He’s enjoying his racing and thriving,” Browne told AAP.
“The horse has got the confidence from putting back-to-back wins together which is a big thing.
“Going to the start at Flemington he felt as good as he ever has and I couldn’t have been more confident by the time we got to the barriers.
“He raced exactly the way he felt.”
There is set to be plenty of pace in the Winterbottom Stakes, with Buffering joined in the field by speedy Western Australian sprinter Barakey, and Buffering’s trainer Robert Heathcote revealed yesterday that he will be leaving the riding instructions up to Browne.
Buffering has drawn outside Barakey but Browne said that he is not worried about barrier draw and will wait until he sees how the field jumps before deciding whether to challenge for the lead in the early stages of the race.
“It would’ve been handy to draw inside Barakey but, in saying that, Buffering drew out in the Manikato and won so it’s nothing new for him,” Heathcote said.
“He’s proven plenty of times in the past that he doesn’t have to lead to win but we’ll see how things pan out once we leave the gates.”
Browne will be chasing his sixth win at Group 1 level when he partners Buffering tomorrow and will have his first ever ride in Perth when he rides Shades Of Rio in the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m).