Queensland’s number one sprinter Buffering has drawn perfectly at barrier three for the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Jockey Damian Browne will have no trouble taking up his usual forward position in the fourteen horse field and the seven times Group 1 winner will be prominent for a long way down the tough Sha Tin straight.
Fellow Australian rival Chautauqua has drawn around the midfield at barrier six and Tommy Berry is certain to settle him back in the field as is his usual pattern of racing.
Both Buffering and Chautauqua are coming off Group 1 wins at their last starts and trainer Robert Heathcote is looking forward to the clash of the two Australian sprinters.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua has been rated the world’s best sprinter after winning the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2 in a sensational last to first performance.
While Buffering arrived in Hong Kong after beating a field of internatio0nal sprinters in the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 26.
“On his day he (Chautauqua) has our measure but come Sunday it will be all about how much start he’s giving us and the likes of Peniaphobia and Aerovelocity if they go forward on him. Our boy is so tough, that’s his asset. It’s one thing to get to Buffering, then you’ve got to get past him,” Heathcote said.
“It looks a great race on Sunday but there are a few things which give us some heart. The form line through Peniaphobia in the Al Quoz Sprint is one.”
“And we’re also really happy with how everything’s gone leading into this race. He’s 100 per cent. No niggles. When we came here in 2014, he wasn’t 100 per cent and still managed to run sixth behind Aerovelocity. I think if he’d been spot on, he might have won that race.”
Chautauqua remains at the top of the market order for the Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.15 ahead of Buffering at $6 while the best of the local sprinters is the Paul O’Sullivan trained Aerovelocity at $7.50.
Arovelocity has drawn the outside of the fourteen horse field and will be ridden by Hong Kong premiership winning jockey Zac Purton.
Locally trained Gold Fun and Thewizardofoz are also prominent in the market order, sharing the third line of betting at $8.
Gold Fun will be ridden by master French jockey Olivier Peslier and has drawn okay at barrier five while the Wizardofoz will jump from gate nine with Hong Kong’s leading jockey Joao Moreira in the saddle.
Chairman’s Sprint Prize market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.15 Chautauqua (barrier 6), $6 Buffering (3), $7.50 Aerovelocity (14), $8 Thewizardofoz (9), Gold Fun (5), $10 Lucky Bubbles (1), $13 Peniaphobia (8), $31 Not Listenin’tome (12), Amazing Kids (4), $41 Mongolian Saturday (2), $101 Charles The Great (7), $126 Strathmore (11), Divine Boy (10), $151 Super Jockey (13).