Jockey Damian Browne is confident that Buffering can record his maiden win at Group 1 level in Queensland when he contests the 2014 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben tomorrow.
Buffering took out the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) during his almost flawless 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but has been narrowly denied a win at the highest level of racing on a number of occasions in his home state.
Browne told Racing Ahead that a win in front of his home fans in the BTC Cup would cap off a stellar season for Buffering and the veteran hoop said that he is happy with the condition of the Mossman gelding heading into the BTC Cup this weekend.
“It is probably not the greatest sprint field that can be assembled and he has beaten most of these horses before and let’s hope that he can do it again tomorrow,” Browne said.
“Obviously he is a little bit older now so it has taken him a little bit longer to come up and that was probably evident in the Challenge Stakes at Randwick.
“He still ran well and only got beaten a length and a half and last start he was outstanding behind Lankan Rupee, who is the main sprint start in Australia at the moment.
“All things are pointing that the horse is going well.
“I trialed him in between races last week and he felt really good.
“I galloped him again on Tuesday morning and he appeared to have a spring in his step, which is a good sign after having that tough run on a heavy track in Sydney.”
Buffering is currently a dominant favourite in 2014 BTC Cup betting markets, at a quote of $1.95, but Browne said that he has respect for a number of his rivals in the Group 1 event; naming fellow Queenslander Spirit Of Boom and Gerald Ryan-trained Hot Snitzel as his biggest dangers.
“Obviously Spirit Of Boom,” Browne said when asked who poses the biggest danger to Buffering.
“His run last start was outstanding, off the back of a slow speed he really hit the line strong, and you have to have respect for Gerald’s as well.”
Unlike Buffering, Browne has previously had success in the BTC Cup after he won the 2010 edition of the race with popular sprinter Albert The Fat.