Robert Heathcote’s top line sprinter Buffering is ready to shed the Group 1 bridesmaid tag after producing another electric performance to win the Group 2 $175,000 Coca-Cola Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben today.
With seven Group 1 placings on his record card, Buffering has been knocking on the door for three seasons to claim the ultimate prize but with injury at the wrong time as well as running into champion sprinters such as Hay List and Black Caviar, the five year old has missed out.
Jockey Damian Browne let Buffering slide to the front and take up his usual position and wasn’t fazed when Larry Cassidy on Listen Son moved up outside him to put some pressure on.
Browne held Buffering together and on the home turn let him slip away and the Group 2 was in the bag in a twinkling of an eye.
“We knew that was going to happen and at one stage I thought about letting Listen Son go,” Browne said.
“But Buffering is a bulldog and he would’ve wanted to get into a fight with the other horse so I put a neck back on Listen Son and he relaxed straight away.”
Heathcote had planned to start Buffering first up in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 13 but a hoof injury delayed his comeback and saved him another clash with Black Caviar.
Buffering showed today that he has completely recovered from the setback by running a sensational 1.08.54 for the 1200m and is on track for the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm in two weeks.
Runner-up Spirit Of Boom ($9) made up some ground in the straight but could only get to within three and a quarter lengths of Buffering who was sent out the $1.70 favourite.
The Peter Snowden trained Albrecht ($11) also ran home nicely for third.
Glen Colless was happy with the effort of Spirit Of Boom but admitted that Buffering was a class above the rest of the field.
“He kept coming to the line but the winner was in a class of his own,” Colless said.