Trainer Robert Heathcote will instruct jockey Damian Browne to go forward on Buffering in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday and try to emulate his all the way win two years ago.
Buffering will be lining up for his fifth straight Manikato Stakes after claiming his first Group 1 victory when he held on to score a nose win over Hong Kong flyer Lucky Nine in 2013.
Heathcote can see no reason not to use Buffering’s early speed to skip to the front again and cannot see a lot of speed in the race which could give him an easy time up front.
“Damian and I were looking through the market and the only other one in the top 10 in betting that’s a go-forward horse is Srikandi,” Heathcote told The Courier-Mail.
“Hopefully that gives him the chance to get a few cheap sectionals and, as we know, he’s a pretty lethal horse when he can do that.”
Buffering, now an eight year old, was forced to miss the Brisbane Winter Carnival because of a leg injury, but was quick to regain winning form at his first Spring Carnival run when he collected his fifth Group 1 trophy by winning back to back $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 2.
The Mossman gelding was able to hold off Ball Of Muscle that night but will be facing a stronger line up this Friday which will include the Joe Pride trained stablemate Terravista and Team Hawkes sprinting star Chautauqua.
Terravista was able to score a first up win in the Group 2 $300,000 G1X.com.au Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 3 while Chautauqua has been impressive at his two Spring outings with wins in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 5 followed by a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 4.
Ciaron Maher’s classy mare Srikanid is also resuming after a well-deserved break following her dual Group 1 winning performance during the Queensland Winter Carnival.
Srikandi was able to claim her first Group 1 victory with a win in the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 6 and followed that up with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20.
The John O’Shea trained colt Exosphere is among the nominations for the Manikato Stakes and will be having his first start in Melbourne if the top trainer decides to send him around against the older horses.
The brilliant Lonhro colt proved to be the superior three year old during the Sydney Spring Carnival, coming through undefeated from three runs.
If you fancy Buffering or have another pick in the Manikato Stakes on Friday night at Moonee Valley, you can get over the odds by taking advantage of Ladbrokes Special Offer of Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Manikato Stakes up to a maximum bet of $50
Exosphere was a first up winner over Press Statement in the Group 2 $175,000 MTA NSW The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on August 29 followed by a commanding performance to win the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12.
O’Shea then stepped him out in the Group 2 $300,000 Canterbury BMW Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 3 for a runaway three and a quarter lengths win over Zoutenant.
In early Manikato Stakes betting with Ladbrokes.com.au, Buffering is at the good each way odds of $8 while Chautauqua is the ruling $1.90 favourite.
Srikandi is on the second line of betting at $4.20, ahead of Exosphere at $5, Terravista at $5.50, Alpha Miss and Rebel Dane at $10 and Angelic Light at $13.