Triple Group 1 winner Buffering impressed onlookers with his performance at trackwork this morning and trainer Robert Heathcote believes that his star sprinter is in great order heading into the 2014 BTC Cup at Doomben on Saturday.
Buffering worked alongside stablemate Excellantes in trackwork this morning and Heathcote told Sky Racing HQ that he was happy with the work of the Mossman gelding and is pleased with the way that he has come out of his tough third place finish in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
“I am very happy with him,” Heathcote said.
“He worked with a stablemate Excellantes on the course proper as they did in an exhibition gallop last Wednesday.
“It has been a month after his courageous third in the T.J. Smith Stakes on that very, very wet track.
“The option was there to run in the Victory Stakes three weeks ago, but I elected to freshen him up and I am pleased to say that his work has been super and he will line up in great order on Saturday.”
Heathcote had great success spacing out Buffering’s runs during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, with the six-year-old recording three straight victories at the highest level of racing, and he has given the veteran sprinter a month between each of his starts this preparation.
Buffering has already had 40 career starts, but Heathcote is confident that the popular sprinter could race way on for two or three more years, if he continues to space his runs.
“I am very mindful of a horse like Buffering, he is a little champ, and we want to extend his longevity for as long as I can, so I am going to be very selective about the type of races that I will run him in,” Heathcote said.
“I found that if you space his runs and keep him relatively fresh, but keep the work up to him that we may well extend his career.
“He could be racing as an eight-year-old and even as a nine-year-old.”
The 2014 BTC Cup has drawn a strong group of nominations and Heathcote admits that Buffering will need to be at his best to defeat the likes of Spirit Of Boom, Temple Of Boom, Snitzerland and Knoydart, but remains hopeful that the tough gelding can finally breakthrough for his maiden win at the highest level of racing in Queensland.
“It was great to see the two horses (Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom) fight it out down the straight the other day and they are going to be formidable opponents, as will Gerald’s team.
“No doubt Johnny O’Shea would love to see the Darley horse kick home in his first week in charge, so it is not going to be an easy assignment.
“The Group 1 BTC Cup has been a bit of a bogey race for Buffering in recent years, so hopefully things will go our way on Saturday.”
Buffering ($2.20) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 BTC Cup betting markets from Spirit Of Boom ($6), Hot Snitzel ($6.50), Snitzerland ($7) and Temple Of Boom ($7).