Popular sprinter Buffering produced a vintage tough performance to take out the 2015 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley tonight.
Trainer Robert Heathcote revealed before the race that he would instruct Dwayne Dunn to take up the running in the early stages of the Moir Stakes and the eight-year-old did plenty of work early to find the rail, with Fontiton challenging for the lead throughout.
Undefeated filly Petits Filous started the Moir Stakes as a dominant favourite and she received a lovely run in transit just behind the leaders, but she was one of the first horses beaten when she was asked for an extra effort and Buffering held-off Ball Of Muscle and Angelic Light to record his fifth win at Group 1 level.
Jockey Damian Browne has formed an extremely close bond with Buffering and he gave the veteran sprinter every possible chance in the Moir Stakes, but the typically humble hoop was quick to pay credit to the training effort of Heathcote and the toughness of Queensland’s best horse.
“Everything just worked out as we hoped,” Browne said.
“Rob has done a great job getting him back and to have him at peak fitness for a 1000 tonight.
“The emotions are starting to get away for this old horse now because he has just been such a trooper and he is a true Queenslander.
“There was a big wrap on a couple of the horses in the race, but they haven’t been around what this horse has been around.
“He just knows what to do and I was always going to deal it up to them tonight and he was just too tough for them.
“It is very special.”
Heathcote was always hopeful that Buffering would be able to win the Moir Stakes for the third time, but he revealed after the race that he was simply thrilled to get his star galloper back to the races after he missed the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival due to injury.
“It was just a brilliant performance from Buffering,” Heathcote said.
“He is eight-years-old, he served it up to them.
“Brownie came out and I said ‘Damian they aren’t going to let you cross, but we just have to keep going’ and Damian did what he does best.
“He knows this horse better than everybody and the horse showed his customary fight and tenacity and kicked on the corner and was too tough.
“Just being back here tonight for us was just a continuation of the wonderful ride that Buffering has taken us on and to come back here and win another Group 1 after literally nine months away from racing and seemingly an injury that we didn’t know he would come back from feels pretty good.
“You hope, you wish and you dream, but somebody asked me several times today ‘are you confident’ and I said ‘confident that Buff will give his best’ and when he does you see the result.”
Ball Of Muscle produced the best performance of his racing career to date to finish a close second, while talented mare Angelic Light returned to racing with a fast-finishing third.
Buffering is set to press on to the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23 before he takes on the very best sprinters in Australia in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.