“Let him run.”
They are the instructions trainer Robert Heathcote has issued jockey Hugh Bowman ahead of his ride on Buffering in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Heathcote believes the five-year-old wasn’t allowed to show his usual free-running style during a shock sixth-place finish in the Manikato Stakes after notching up two previous wins this spring in the Moir Stakes and the Schillaci Stakes.
The leading Queensland trainer is confident his stable star is poised to bounce back and is capable of landing an elusive Group 1 win on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“I think Hugh tried to restrain him a bit [in the Manikato] and the pace they went out it just didn’t work out,” Heathcote said.
“In the Schillaci they were going at a good tempo and it worked out to sit behind Malasun and I think Hugh was anticipating Satin Shoes would go out and lead and set a better pace.
“But this horse has a high cruising speed and because of that he was never really able to get into a rhythm.”
Heathcote is confident a return to his usual race pattern will allow Buffering to show his best in what is his first start at Flemington since being narrowly beaten by Hay List in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in March.
“Buffering will be running his own race,” he said.
“He’ll be out running like he was in the Newmarket and I’ve given clear instructions to Hugh.
“In the Newmarket it took a horse of the calibre of Hay List to just get over the top of him and it’s going to take a good horse to run him down on Saturday.”
The son of Mossman has drawn barrier 15 for the trip down the Flemington straight, a position which pleases Heathcote.
“It’s the last day of the four-day carnival so I think being out wide down the straight could be a bit of an advantage,” he said.