Buffering recorded a dominant victory in an unofficial jump out at Eagle Farm yesterday and trainer Robert Heathcote is delighted with the progress of the triple Group 1 winner as he builds towards a return to racing in the 2014 Moir Stakes on September 26.
Buffering had his first testing gallop since returning from the spelling paddock and Heathcote told Racing Ahead that the son of Mossman produced a performance that impressed both himself and regular jockey Damian Browne.
“He is really well,” Heathcote said.
“He had his first competitive hit out yesterday and it was very pleasing what he did for us.
“He is the type of horse that normally needs the one or two hit outs before he really hits his straps, but he was ticking all the right boxes yesterday and Damian was very happy.
“It was an unofficial jump out at Eagle and the thing that pleased Damian and I most was the enthusiasm of the horse, he pinged the gates, wanted to do it and he won it by maybe six or eight lengths with heavy shoes on.
“It was clearly the fastest time of the morning as well and I am very happy with him.”
Buffering was placed at Group 1 level in on three occasions during his autumn preparation, but was unable to return to the form that he showed when he won the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Heathcote admits that Buffering may be past his peak, but believes that he is getting plenty of positive signs out of the seven-year-old ahead of his spring campaign that is set include the Group 1 Moir Stakes, Manikato Stakes, Darley Classic and a trip to Hong Kong for the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m).
“He is probably past the peak of his powers, but in saying that he is seven-year-olds, has great legs and he spelled really well,” Heathcote said.
“Kevin Thomas, who runs Washpool Lodge is a great horseman and he said ‘Rob it is the best he has ever left our property’ and I would have to agree with him.
“The horse looks in fantastic order, he has a great attitude and there is a bit of winter about him, but he looks as well as he has ever looked.
“He will step-out in the Moir and look as good as anything in the field that is for sure.”
Buffering was purchased for just $22,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and has earnt over $4 million in prizemoney for connection across his 42 race starts.