A barrier seven draw for star sprinter Buffering in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) on Saturday is a help more than a hindrance according to trainer Robert Heathcote.
Heathcote believes the wide draw will allow his stable star to overcome any problems if he is slow out of the gates as he was during his tough win in the Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley two weeks ago.
“I’m actually not displeased with the draw, I was really hoping we wouldn’t draw one or two,” Heathcote said.
“If he’s tardy away as he was at Moonee Valley and he drew the inside then he could get stuck third or fourth on the fence and that’s not where I want him to be.
“With the wide draw, if he’s slow away then Hugh [Bowman] can still push forward and sit just outside the lead.”
The seven-time Group 1 placegetter suffered a minor scare last week following a series of inoculations but has quickly bounced back and Heathcote is expecting him to continue his spring success this weekend.
“At the time he was flat for a day or so and it was a big concern but he’s turned it around quickly and his work this week was really good,” Heathcote said.
The leading Queensland trainer is confident Buffering’s class will again shine through, with the only minor concern a drop back in distance from 1200m to 1000m.
“He’s taken improvement from the run and I think he’ll be in more of a rhythm this weekend,” he said.
“Hugh Bowman said when he was slightly slow away at Moonee Valley he just never never got into a rhythm.
“If my bloke is vulnerable at all, it would be dropping back from 1200m to 1000m but at the end of the day he’s such a quality horse and he’s shown time and time again how tough he is.”