Top Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote is confident that he will have a full spring carnival team to bring to Melbourne this year.
Heathcote, who is currently holidaying in Canada, has left racing manager Melissa Leitch in charge of his successful stables.
“We’re planning to take a number of horses away for the spring and hope to have about seven racing all the time,” Ms Leitch said.
One of Heathcote’s headline acts of the spring is sure to be Buffering, who has raced amongst Group 1 company in four of his past five starts.
The talented three-year-old will take to the track later today at Eagle Farm for the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes.
“He’ll be hard to beat as usual and we expect him to either lead or take a sit outside the leader,” Ms Leitch said.
“His Stradbroke run hasn’t hurt him and he’s trained on well.”
Buffering will have winkers on for the first time in his career in today’s race.
“He wore winkers in a gallop on Tuesday and Larry (Cassidy) was really impressed with his work,” Ms Leitch said.
“We thought about putting blinkers on him but we decided to go with the winkers to help sharpen him up as he’s dropping back in distance.
“As a young horse we were going to try him in blinkers but he freaked out with them on one morning so we never put them on him.
“We intended to put winkers on him the day he won the Roman Consul in Sydney last year but the notification didn’t go through so he raced without them and still won.”
Today’s start will be the last for Buffering before he makes his way slowly south for the Melbourne spring.
“Buffering will have a six-week break after this run and then will have two runs in Sydney before going on to Melbourne,” Ms Leitch said.