Queensland’s star sprinter Buffering looks likely to miss the Brisbane Winter Carnival because of a leg injury.
Trainer Robert Heathcote told Sky Sports Radio that the four time Group 1 winner had sprained a joint yesterday and will struggle to be fit in time to bag a Group 1 victory on his home turf.
Heathcote has decided to miss the Melbourne and Sydney Autumn Carnivals and had Buffering back in work in preparation for a home town Winter campaign.
“I still have some hope that he will be ready for the BTC Cup on May 9 and then the Doomben 10,000 two weeks later,” Heathcote said.
“I may be hopeful but we can’t take chances with him. Any doubt at all and he won’t be running this winter.”
“It is a sprain and he will have intensive work done on him with anti-inflammatory treatment, ice, water walking, and visits to the beach,” Heathcote said.
“After two weeks we should have the swelling down and hopefully be able to assess if there is any further damage to his leg.”
The seven year collected a hat trick of Group 1 wins during the 2013 Spring Carnival with wins in the $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, the $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington and the $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
He then added the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley nine months later to his impressive record.
But Buffering had failed to land a Group 1 in his own back yard and Heathcote thought this Winter could be his year with the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) being transferred to Doomben because of the closure of Eagle Farm due to the track renovations.
“That is certainly more favourable for Buffering,” Heathcote said when he was mapping out Buffering’s Winter Carnival program.
“Whilst he has never won a Group 1 in his home state he has performed admirably and he has finished second in two Stradbrokes.
“He has also performed well over the road at Doomben in the 10,000 and the 1350 of the Stradbroke now certainly makes it a more viable proposition.”
Buffering was given a short break after a trip to Hong Kong in December where he finished sixth to Aerovelocity in the Group 1 HK$18.5m Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin and was progressing nicely until suffering the fetlock injury.
Buffering’s Winter Carnival campaigns had resulted in several close finishes including a third to superstar Black Caviar in the 2011 Group 1 $400,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben following by a fourth to Sincero in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm.
The following year he ran into Sea Siren when second in the Group 1 $650,000 Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben before running second to Mid Summer Music in the Stradbroke Handicap.
Then in 2013 Buffering recorded a fourth to Your Song in the BTC Cup, a third to Epaulette in the Doomben 10000 and a second to Linton in the Stradbroke Handicap.
Buffering’s 2014 Winter campaign also results in two Group 1 placings with a third to Famous Seamus in the BTC Cup and a third to Spirit Of Boom in the Doomben 10000.