Top local fancy Buffering was given no favours at the barrier draw today coming up with gate twelve in the fifteen horse field to contest the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Leading Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote was hoping for better luck this week after Buffering blew the start in the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm on May 11.
Buffering never regained his balance and was always struggling in the heavy conditions and was beaten six and three quarter lengths by Sydney three year old Your Song.
“Whatever could have gone wrong last start did go wrong,” Heathcote said.
“I woke up race morning with an even-money favourite in a Group 1 race. Then the rain came. Then at the start, he’s usually a brilliant beginner, but took a step back. And as his momentum was going back, the starter let them go.
“For the next 400m he was scrambling. He just couldn’t get into a rhythm.
“I’m happy to put that run behind us. We don’t need good luck, but we don’t need any bad luck.”
Heathcote has never given up hope that Group 1 bridesmaid Buffering will breakthrough at the top level and believes he can turn the tables on Your Song this week, also admitting it will be a tough ask.
“It looks like being an absolutely stellar Doomben 10,000,” Heathcote said.
“You’ve got Your Song who is already a Group 1 winner, you’ve got Buffering who is knocking on the door, Sea Siren who won the race last year and Better Than Ready who is one of the early market favourites for the Stradbroke.
“I think it’s going to be a truly great race.”
Rain Affair is likely to spring the gates again and shoot to the front from barrier five while Damian Browne will have to ensure a good getaway this week and let Buffering slide across from the outside draw to sit just outside or just behind the leader.
Top Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman, who replaces BTC Cup winning rider Peter Robl who is out suspended, has been handed a massive task with Your Song coming up with the outside gate.
Bowman will be hoping that Rain Affair sets a genuine pace giving him the opportunity to slot Your Song in somewhere just off the pace.
Last year’s Doomben 10,000 winner Sea Siren drew just worst than midfield at nine while Chris Waller’s war horse Rangirangdoo also had no friends when the marbles dropped, coming up with barrier fourteen.
Ric McMahon will have no option than to drop back in the field on Better Than Ready from the inside gate and ride for luck.
The Kelly Schweida trained three year old will be better suited over the 1350m on Saturday and another good run at weight for age will see him come right into top calculations for the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap in another two weeks on the roomier Eagle Farm track over the 1400m.
Other local hope Spirit Of Boom drew awkwardly at thirteen while Kerrin McEvoy will be able to position the Peter Snowden trained Epaulette wherever he likes in the field from gate four.