International Group 1 winner Buffering continues to please his connections in the lead up to the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on May 1.
Buffering arrived in Hong Kong after a successful trip to the United Arabs Emirates where he took care of a smart field of international sprinters with a convincing win in the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 26.
Brisbane’s premiership winning trainer Robert Heathcote has joined Buffering’s travelling companion Melanie Sharpe who has reported that the seven times Group 1 winner has settled well into his Hong Kong surroundings.
“The reports from Melanie are great. I saw Mel last night,” Heathcote told RSN’ Racing Ahead.
Buffering had his first good gallop on Tuesday morning since arriving in Hong Kong when he worked over 800m in 52.1 seconds, his last 400m in 22.6 seconds, and Heathcote said that he was able to watch the hit out on a link sent to him from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“I actually watched his track gallop yesterday. They are super the Hong Kong Jockey Club, they filmed the track work and the link was sent to me and he looked good,” Heathcote said.
“He had his first good hit out since the Al Quoz Sprint.”
“That was his first decent bit of work since he got here.”
Buffering has done well to get back to his normal weight after travelling and weighed in at 510kg this week, pleasing Heathcote.
“He has done really well, he weighed in at 510kg, that is his optimum weight. He was 508kg when he won at Meydan so he has put a couple of kilos on which is a great sign,” Heathcote said.
“And as I have always said the success of travelling horses is how well they travel and how well they recover and I guess that will be the case now with his nemesis Chautauqua who has just arrived in Hong Kong yesterday.”
While Heathcote is looking forward to a re match with the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua, he admits that the Chairman’s Spring Prize field will be filled with top international sprinters.
“It’s certainly not just a two-horse race with Chautauqua and Buffering,” Heathcote said.
“Aerovelocity and another couple of local horses that are fantastic as well. And let’s not discount Peniaphobia.”
“Whilst Buffering beat him in the Al Quoz, he was the international winner in December so there is certainly a lot of respect there as well.”
Early betting for the Chairman’s Sprint Prize has Chautauqua the ruling favourite at $2.25, coming off his second win in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2 while Buffering is listed as an $8 chance.
Chairman’s Sprint Prize market order: $2.25 Chautauqua, $5.50 Aerovelocity, $6 Thewizardofoz, Lucky Bubbles, $8 Buffering, $13 Peniaphobia, $21 Amazing Kids, $26 Not Listenin’tome, $81 Strathmore, $101 Dundonnell, Charles The Great, $151 I’m In Charge, Key Witness, Super Jockey.