Queensland speedster Buffering stamped himself as the top sprinter in the country with an effortless win in the Group 2 $220,000 Schweppes Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield today.
With Black Caviar and Hay List on the sidelines, Buffering has carried on his good Group 1 form and has set the standard for the other sprinters during the Spring Carnival.
After being placed in the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane during the Winter, Buffering resumed at Moonee Valley on September 28 to win the Group 2 $300,000 Spotless Moir Stakes (1200m) before making an one act affair at Caulfield.
Winning trainer Robert Heathcote will head to the Group 1 $500,000 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate eve and the five year old will start a short priced favourite to take out his first Group 1 race.
“We were confident we had the horse right. Melissa Leech, she lives with Buffering, she knows him as well as anyone and when I was down here on Tuesday and watched him work and Mel came in and said he’s spot on Rob,” Heathcote said.
“We know that Black Caviar and Hay List are not here and my little tough bulldog, he’s lived in their shadow for a long time. The opportunity is there to put his hand up and say you know I’m the number one sprinter in this country until she comes back of course.”
“Now we go onto the Manikato. He deserves a Group 1 this horse.”
Heathcote is also contemplating a trip to Hong Kong at the end of the Spring and the Perth summer carnival is also an option for the classy sprinter.
Top Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman let smart filly Malasun set a slick pace and after sitting on her heels eased into the clear at the top of the straight and was never in any doubt of getting beaten.
“The conditions suited with the weight for age. My only little query was the 1200m back to the 1000m, it’s not a usual step in distance but he’s a quality sprinter, he’s shown that throughout his career and this might just be his time,” Bowman said.
“The pace was strong. I was going the pace I was comfortable with and Craig pressed on with that and I was only too happy to come off his back, Buffering loved it and so did I.”
Golden Archer ran home strongly for second but in the end couldn’t match it with Buffering with Stirling Grove filling third spot.