Winning jockey Damian Browne and triple Group 1 winner Buffering will both have a break before preparing for the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote will send Buffering for a well-deserved break after completing a hat trick of Group 1 wins with a nose victory over Moment Of Change in the $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot last Saturday.
While Browne will take an enforced break after being suspended for careless riding for one calendar month for causing interference on Buffering at the 600m resulting in a number of horses having to be checked including fourth placegetter Spirit Of Boom.
Western Australian Stewards also slapped a $5000 fine on Browne due to the high level of carelessness and interference involved in the incident.
Heathcote was astounded with the severity of the penalty and went on to say that the owners of Buffering will be paying the fine for Browne.
“I”m disappointed because the penalty hasn’t fitted the crime. Yes, it’s a Group 1 race, and yes, there”s interference, and yes, he should have copped a penalty, but the severity of the penalty I find quite extraordinary,” Heathcote told The Daily Telegraph.
“At end of day to fight it would mean he’d have to stay here (in Perth), and he’d have to front a hearing, and blah, blah, blah. It’s probably in the ‘too hard’ basket.
“Giving him a three-week suspension, that’s a hefty penalty for a rider of his stature, but why throw in a $5000 fine? That I find quite extraordinary.
“But owners of Buffering are going to pay it anyway.”
After living in the shadow of Black Caviar and Hay List for a long time, Buffering has finally taken over the crown as the nation’s number one sprinter after winning the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Spring Carnival before heading to Perth.
And Heathcote has his eyes set on a fourth straight Group 1 victory when he heads to Sydney in the Autumn for the T J Smith Stakes which is part of the revamped The Championships to be held at Randwick.
“Racing is a funny game. It wasn’t that long ago that Buffering was getting beaten in Group 1s for the 15th, 16th, 17th time. I was beginning to wonder if he was ever going to win one and he’s gone bang, bang, bang,” Heathcote told Racing Network.
“We know he wasn’t as good as Black Caviar and Hay List, but they’re not here any more so he has stepped into the breach.”
Followinng the Sydney Autumn Carnival, Buffering will head back to his home town to contest the Group 1 $400,000 BTC Cup (1200m) and the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.