With Black Caviar and Hay list on the sidelines Queensland sprinter Buffering gave an early indication he may be able to fill the role of the nation’s best sprinter this spring when winning the Group 2 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
The five-year-old didn’t show his typically electric gate speed and had to work hard early to assume the lead but that is where he stayed.
It was a strong win from the son of Mossman who showed toughness in the final 200 metres to hang on despite fast finishes from eventual placegetters Ready To Rip and Thankgodyou’re here.
Trainer Robert Heathcote was rewarded for his decision to kick start his stable star’s spring campaign two weeks earlier than originally planned and was full of praise for the multiple Group 1 placegetter.
“Missing the start and having to do that extra bit of work made it that little bit harder but we knew when the cards were on the table this guy would really fight,” Heathcote told TVN.
“Weight-for-age, 1200 metres first-up, no trial, no jump-out and he’s done it.
“Horses like Buffering make trainers look good. You can make a mistake and they cover for you.”
Heathcote said he would wait and see how Buffering pulls up before deciding whether he will run in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) in two weeks or head straight into the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 26.
“The ultimate goal is a Group 1 and there is one here in a month, the Manikato…if I have to I’ll hold him back and just come here in a month then I will,” he said.
In a warning to his spring sprinting rivals, Jockey Hugh Bowman said Buffering struggled to find his groove after getting out of the gates poorly.
“He just jumped up in the air. First-up just on the fresh side. It took me a little while to get him into a rhythm and I actually didn’t him into a nice rythm until about the 800m,” Bowman said.
“It makes the win all the better I think.”