Buffering is currently available at 2014 Darley Classic odds of $14 and trainer Robert Heathcote feels that is ‘unbelievable value’ for the popular sprinter in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Buffering started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a tough win in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 26 and he suffered severe interference, but still battled on bravely to finish seventh in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 24.
There were concerns that Buffering might miss the Darley Classic after he pulled up with muscle soreness following the Manikato Stakes, but Heathcote told RSN this morning that the Mossman gelding had recovered from the issue quickly and believes that the four-time Group 1 winner is in great shape heading into the Darley Classic.
“It was certainly an exciting and an extraordinary race,” Heathcote said of the Manikato Stakes.
“It was not only the blanket finish, were eight horses went across the line together, but the level of interference in the race and my fellow copped what the stewards deemed was severe interference and Damian Browne later said to me that was Buff’s toughest and gutsiest runs of his life and he has run seventh.
“We were worried there for the following two or three days when he was stiff and sore and he had some muscle spasms in his back where he got twisted sideways, but fortunately his recovering has been very good and he just had his final piece of work at Flemington this morning and we are very happy with him.
“There is always going to be that small element of doubt and I guess that is why the bookies have him at $16, which is unbelievable value.”
Buffering was one of the big drifters in VRC Sprint Classic betting markets before the race last year, but he defied the betting drift to lead from start to finish and score a comfortable victory in the Group 1 event.
The Mossman gelding will once again jump from the inside gate in the 2014 Darley Classic and Heathcote is hoping that the seven-year-old will relish his return to the famous Flemington straight and record back-to-back wins in the race due to his sustained speed.
“He drew the one last year and he won from there last year,” Heathcote said.
“He will jump, he will run and I actually believe that Buffering is a better horse up the straight six then he is at Moonee Valley.
“He has won a couple of Group 1’s at Moonee Valley and he won this race last year by sustained speed and we will do the same this year.
“I imagine that Hawksey and his team will look to take the trial behind us, peel out and go bang and it will be a high pressure race.
“He may not be the best sprinter in the world, but he is one of the toughest sprinters in the world and a race like this is often won by pure guts and determination.”
Buffering is still available at the lengthy Darley Classic odds of $14, while Chautauqua ($2.30) is a clear favourite from Lankan Rupee ($5), Slade Power ($7.50) and Terravista ($11).