Queensland star Buffering will be forced to undergo a vet check prior to tomorrow’s Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) after showing signs of a minor injury to his hoof following trackwork this morning.
Leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote informed Racing Queensland stewards this morning that the race favourite exhibited signs of soreness after undergoing routine work at his Eagle Farm base.
Heathcote stable vet Dr Phillip Burguez inspected the gelding and has commenced treatment after confirming he is experiencing sensitivity in the near fore foot.
Rated a short-priced favourite to take out the feature sprint, trainer Heathcote is hopeful but not confident he can get to the start line to attempt to win the race he finished third in last year.
“I’ve poulticed the hoof to draw some of the pain out and the vets say he’s better than a 50-50 chance of starting but I’m not so sure,” Heathcote said.
“It’s not too serious but I’ve been around long enough to know how long it takes for these injuries to come right.”
The set back comes at a shocking time for the son of Mossman who is poised to score his first ever Group 1 victory after running behind classy sprinters Black Caviar and Hay List on numerous occasions.
“He had just been hosed down when one of my staff noticed his action was a little short,” Heathcote said.
“I called in my vet immediately and it looks like he’s got a small stone bruise.”
A winner of nine of 24 starts, Buffering finished behind the star pair in last year’s BTC Cup but looked on track to claim top honours this year with Hay List out with health concerns and Black Caviar in Adelaide for the Group 1 Goodwood.
Buffering has had a quality lead up to the Brisbane Winter Carnival, placing three times from three Group 1 starts in Melbourne earlier this year before resuming with a dominant seven-length win at Eagle Farm on May 2.
If the local hope does start, he will be ridden by in-form jockey Nash Rawiller from barrier 14.