Trainer Robert Heathcote is confident that Buffering is ready for a return to racing after the popular sprinter impressed onlookers with his performance in a jump out at Doomben yesterday.
Buffering slightly disappointed Heathcote with his performance in a jump out a fortnight ago, but Heathcote as well as jockey Damian Browne were both thrilled with the effort of the Mossman gelding yesterday.
Heathcote confirmed that Buffering would make the trip to Melbourne on Monday and he is confident that the veteran sprinter will be at his best when he contests the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 2.
“It was probably fair to say that I was a touch disappointed with him first-up, but I may have been marking him a little hard because he hadn’t run since he came back from Hong Kong and he had an injury leading into the winter,” Heathcote told Racing Ahead.
“He never had the blinkers on and I said to Damien yesterday that with blinkers on we have upped the workload and he should give him a decent hit-out and Damien came in with a big smile on his face and he said ‘he is just about where you want him heading into the Moir’.
“I wanted him to be impressive and he was.
“My plan all along was just to give him the one jump-out because the Moir is down to 1000 now and keep him a bit fresh, but after so long off he needed to have the two.
“I can now back off, he is flying down on Monday and that still gives me a couple of weeks to settle him in Melbourne.”
Buffering has not been seen at the races since he finished sixth behind Aerovelocity in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December of last year, but Heathcote remains confident that the eight-year-old is in just as good condition as he was when he took out the Moir Stakes last year.
The Moir Stakes will be run over 1000 metres in 2015, but Heathcote believes that Buffering is capable of winning the race if he jumps from the gates quickly.
“Scarily I think that he is as well as ever,” Heathcote said.
“The old fella doesn’t know that he is eight and he has that cheeky attitude and he is bouncing off the track every morning.
“His coat has really shifted in the last couple of weeks and he is going to present in great order.
“The fact is that 1000 metres is a bit of a concern because he has never been a flash beginner even though he can maintain a high cruising speed and it is essential that we can get him to pin.”
Buffering has the chance to join The Judge (1978 and 1979), With Me (1990 and 1991) and Black Caviar (2010 and 2011) as the only back-to-back winners of the Moir Stakes.