Jockey Damian Browne still has plenty on options on BTC Cup favourite Buffering after Brisbane’s star galloper drew barrier seven in the weight for age Group 1 sprint at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
While Sydney’s front running Rain Affair has drawn perfectly at gate two in the eleven horse field with new rider Hugh Bowman sure to set the pace again in $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m).
The Robert Heathcote trained Buffering has terrific gate speed and Browne will have to make an early decision if he is going to lead, sit outside Rain Affair or take a sit in the first 200m.
Buffering has run some of his best races when out in front but has also performed well slotting it behind the pace.
Whereas Rain Affair always goes out hard as he displayed last start when run down by glamour colt All Too Hard after leading in the Group 1 $400,000 Yarraman Park All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 27.
“As for Saturday’s race, the tactics are a decision I will make probably after the first 200m of the race,” Browne said.
“Rain Affair is a very quick horse but Buffering has got a very high cruising speed as well.”
Buffering has a frustrating run of seven Group 1 placings but Browne feels the five year old will get no better chance than Saturday on his home track to secure his first.
“We all know that Buffering is capable of winning a Group 1 race. It is just a matter of getting the monkey off his back,” Browne said.
“He probably feels better than he has ever felt.”
“Every other carnival he has always been away, whether it be in Melbourne or Sydney, before we get to this Brisbane carnival.”
“This time it is all about Brisbane and that is his home ground.
“His record at Eagle Farm still is very good and I don’t think the fact it is there rather than at Doomben will make any great difference to him.”
Buffering was in this position twelve months when he was a raging pre post favourite for this race before Heathcote had to scratch when the gelding developed a foot problem on race eve.
Sea Siren than went on to score her maiden Group 1 victory in the BTC Cup and then made it back to back Group 1 wins beating a brave underdone Buffering in the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) two weeks later.
Among Buffering’s Group 1 placings is a gallant second to the great Hay List in the 2012 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in the Autumn.
Buffering has also been placed three times behind super mare Black Caviar including a second in the 2011 Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington in the Spring.