Buffering will head to Perth for the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes after he finished a gallant fourth in the 2015 Darley Classic at Flemington on Saturday.
There was very little betting support for Buffering in the lead-up to the Winterbottom Stakes, but the typically tough sprinter could up the running in the early stages of the race and he held-off his rivals until the 70 metres mark before he tired late to finish fourth behind Delectation, Chautauqua and Terravista.
“It was a terrifically exciting race,” Heathcote told Racing Ahead.
“Full credit to those who beat him home, but Buffering made them work and that is what adds to the glamour and the glory and the competiveness of the carnival.
“It was a super effort and I thought that Damian rode a tactically brilliant race.
“At the 100 we were still in front and he just wilted in that last 70 metres, but to go down two of the best sprinters in the world and now Delectation, who put his hand up.”
Heathcote believes that Buffering’s performance in the Darley Classic showed that he is still racing at close to his peak and he is now excited to give the son of Mossman another opportunity to take out the Winterbottom Stakes.
The leading Brisbane trainer confirmed that Buffering had come out of the Darley Classic with some soreness, but he is confident that his star galloper will go into the Winterbottom Stakes at close to peak fitness.
“It always has been on the agenda and it was just a matter that we just take each race as it comes,” Heathcote said.
“After that race on Saturday you could argue that Buff is in as good a form as he has been in the last couple of years.
“He brushed himself a little on the hind joint, but as the vet said this morning it really shows that he dug deep and he gave 110%.
“He pulled up ok and I am quite happy with him.
“I believe the flight is leaving next Sunday, so he won’t do much and he will do a little bit of light work on Tuesday once he arrives at Ascot.
“He is a fit, healthy and happy racehorse and we will keep him that way until the race.”
Buffering is currently available at 2015 Winterbottom Stakes odds of $9 and he is on the fourth line of betting behind Lucky Street ($4), Magnifisio ($6), Srikandi ($8) and Buffering ($9).