An early autumn start in the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 30 is potentially on the cards for Queensland’s number one sprinter Buffering.
Trainer Robert Heathcote has pencilled in the $1 million TJ Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 13 as the gutsy gelding’s kickoff point but is weighing up the option of fast-tracking him into the autumn.
“We may consider the Galaxy depending on how he is going,” Heathcote told horseracing.com.au.
“At the moment he’s right on target for where I wanted him to be and doing well.”
A Galaxy start would provide the winner of nearly $2 million in prizemoney the chance to claim an elusive Group 1 win without Black Caviar, a possible TJ Smith starter.
Buffering proved he had come back well from a tough spring campaign when leading from start to finish in an 800m trial in Brisbane this morning.
“He jumped well and he led. He sort of loafed a bit in the middle stages but as soon as a horse came at him and he sensed a horse outside him he picked up,” Heathcote said.
“His last 100m was particularly strong.”
The Mossman gelding won the Group 2 Moir Stakes and Group 2 Schillaci Stakes in Melbourne during the spring but remained winless in the top grade, finishing unplaced in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes and the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic.
Heathcote’s other stable star, Solzhenitysn, won an 1100m trial this morning and is on track for a showdown with pin-up gallopers Pierro and More Joyous in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday week.
“The plan with him has always been the Canterbury Stakes, the George Ryder and the Doncaster,” Heathcote said.
The schedule gives the Group 1 winner a two-week break between each run, with the George Ryder (1500m) taking place on April 6 and the Doncaster (1600m) on April 20.