Buffering has had a tremendous start to the winter with a big win on the Gold Coast accounting for Group 1 winner Atomic Force and a solid third amid tremendous company last start in the BTC Cup at Doomben.
This week he heads to the Doomben 10,000 where he’ll run into another quality field but minus Black Caviar it’s given all the connections a massive boost.
Still, Hay List strikes an imposing figure at the top of the market and if Buffering is going to launch a serious challenge he’ll need to pick up multiple lengths in between runs.
Robert Heathcote has found an unlikely ally in his bid to win the Doomben 10,000, teaming up with Peter Moody’s Curtana in track work.
While they’ll be combatants come Saturday, both camps know their horses will need to be at their absolute best to have any chance.
“They weren’t out there to run any super times, it was just a very good hit out,” Heathcote said.
“We’re under no illusions, Hay List is in career best form, throw in Beaded and Love Conquers All and it’s a very good field.”
While he’s in super shape at the moment the step up to 1350m is another question mark for the horse.
“It’s a huge step for Buffering to take particularly as he’s never been past 1200,” he said.
“Each of the riders who have ridden him strongly suggest that he can.”
Buffering is a popular horse with the jockeys as he’s easy to work with and they know he’ll put in 100 percent every run.
“Every time the rider ask him to quicken he always finds a lot,” Heathcote said.
“I’m not overly concerned but until they actually do it in the heat of battle you can never really be sure.”
Also in action this Saturday will be Fillydelphia in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes.
Heathcote has no issues with Larry Cassidy once again picking up the ride with Luke Nolen unavailable due to commitments with Peter Moody.
“Larry’s a professional , he’s got a super record with me and I’m 100 percent confident he’ll get the job done,” he said.
After her win against the males in the Rough Habit Plate Heathcote hasn’t ruled out refocussing on the Queensland Derby at the expense of the Queensland Oaks.
“If she was to go around on Saturday and give the boys a bit of a spanking we’d consider going right to the derby,” he said.
“At the moment though the Oaks is the main plan and the Derby is an afterthought.”