Leading form expert Adam Blencowe has Buffering on top of his 2014 Doomben 10,000 tips, but admits that it is tough to have confidence in the popular sprinter after he failed to perform at his best in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 10.
Buffering started his autumn preparation with a disappointing seventh in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on March 15, but returned to a semblance of his best form with a brave third in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on April 12.
The Mossman gelding was very well-backed in the lead-up to the BTC Cup, but never looked comfortable in the run and could finish no better than third behind Famous Seamus and Spirit Of Boom.
Blencowe told RSN that despite Buffering’s failure in the BTC Cup that he still rates him the horse to beat in the Doomben 10,000 and believes that the step-up to 1350 metres may help the six-year-old.
“I have Buffering as favourite, but the confidence is a little bit dented,” Blencowe said.
“He hasn’t quite scaled his peak this prep yet; his T.J. run was quiet good and he just raced flat last start.
“As an older horse when he has stepped out beyond 1200 metres, twice in a Doomben 10,000 and twice in the Stradbroke Handicap, he has been right up around his peak; he has run 126 twice and a 125 in a 10,000 as well.
“Maybe that extra furlong is what he is looking for as an older horse and if he runs his race here he is certainly the one to beat and his best form makes him easily the pick of these.”
Rebel Dane has drifted in Doomben 10,000 betting markets since he draw barrier ten for the Group 1 event this weekend, but Blencowe rates the son of California Dane the biggest danger to Buffering and is confident that the four-year-old can bounce back from his poor performance in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 26.
“He has often been toppled up north by an x-factor horse and if there is an x-factor horse here it is Rebel Dane,” Blencowe said.
“He just narrowly beat him home in the T.J. and raced flat in the All Aged, but that is not Rebel Dane and I think that this is a pretty suitable race for him as well.
“If there is one out there that has the x-factor to run him down is Rebel Dane and I think that the others have plenty to find.”
Buffering ($4) remains a narrow favourite in 2014 Doomben 10,000 betting markets from Rebel Dane ($4.60) and Spirit Of Boom ($4.80).