Brilliant local sprinter Buffering heads the nominations for the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm on May 11 and trainer Robert Heathcote believes the five year old will break through for his initial Group 1 victory during the Winter Carnival.
The BTC Cup, which was moved from Doomben to Eagle Farm in anticipation that undefeated Queen of the Turf Black Caviar was to make the trip north before her unexpected retirement, has attracted a high quality list of twenty-five nominations for the weight for age sprint.
Group 1 bridesmaid Buffering showed that he will be very hard to beat in whatever he competes in over the Winter with an explosive win in the Group 2 $175,000 Coca-Cola Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
The Kelly Schweida trained Better Than Ready is also chasing a Group 1 win and showed that he is up to the class with a very good fifth to Shamexpress in this year’s Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March.
The retirement of Black Caviar along with notable absentee Hay List, who is struggling to regain his best form, gives Buffering his best opportunity to win that elusive Group1.
“I’m hoping Buffering can become the pin up horse for the carnival,” Heathcote said.
“I’ve always believed that behind Black Caviar and Hay List when he was firing, that Buffering was the third best sprinter in Australia.”
Rain Affair, who also had a run in with Black Caviar when fourth to the mighty mare in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 13 is also among the entries.
Last year’s BTC Cup winner Sea Siren is struggling to regain her best form and John O’Shea has plenty of work to do win back to back Cups after finishing six lengths fifth to Black Caviar in the T J Smith.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller will be hoping his Group 1 winning run continues with Arinosa, his only nomination for the BTC Cup after saddling up three Group 1 winners at Randwick over the final two days of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Waller scored a Group 1 winning double with Royal Descent in the $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) followed by a win in the $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) with former New Zealand three year old Sacred Falls.
And then the imported Reliable Man took out the $500,000 Santos Coffee Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) before the five year old pulled up lame.
Peter Moody has nominated former Queensland galloper Ready To Rip while Eagle Farm trainer Tony Gollan has entered his two classy sprinters Temple Of Boom and Spirit Of Boom.