Securing a fourth victory at the highest level of Australian racing when charging home to win the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) first-up this season, trainer Robert Heathcote has revealed he is pleased with the condition of classy sprinter Buffering ahead of a trip abroad for December 14th’s Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).
Securing a commendable race record of 16 wins and a further 17 minor places from his 45 competitive appearances on course so far, Buffering progressed to a luckless seventh in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) following his Moir Stakes victory before maintaining for a brave fourth amongst particularly classy competition in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8th.
Electing to keep the seven-year-old in work at Flemington following his most recent run rather than transport him back to his native Queensland, Heathcote told AAP he is excited by the Mossman gelding’s chance of success in the 2014 Hong Kong Sprint and is confident he will find the barriers in prime condition.
“It has been a wonderful trip with Buff and if any horse deserves a chance to shine on the international scene it is him,” Heathcote said.
“He has had his shots and the vet will go over Buffering completely on Wednesday. It is to make certain that the Hong Kong Jockey Club isn’t wasting its money.
“I will then head up on December 3 to oversee his final lead-up.”
Undoubtedly finding career-best form over an impressive 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Buffering placed second to Samaready in the Moir Stakes first-up before completing a memorable run of three-consecutive Group 1 victories in taking out the Manikato Stakes, VRC Sprint Classic (now Darley Classic) and Winterbottom Stakes; all over 1200m.
Unable to reach the same racing heights over autumn and early winter this year, Buffering ran seventh in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) first-up before running third in each of the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) and Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).