Queensland sprinter Buffering is considered by many racing experts to be the best horse in Australia yet to win a Group 1 race but trainer Robert Heathcote is hoping the rising six-year-old will be able to shake that tag during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Buffering has been placed at Group 1 level on nine occasions and Heathcote is giving him the best possible chance to finally breakthrough for a win at racings highest level by setting him for a spring campaign that will be limited to Group 1 races.
The Mossman gelding will kick-off his spring in the recently upgraded Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27, a race he won when it was still a Group 2 last year, before contesting the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Cox Plate eve and the Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.
Buffering resumed work this week and Heathcote is confident that he can fire first-up at Moonee Valley.
“I’m delighted with him; he has had a five week break and looks fantastic,” Heathcote told Racing Ahead.
“In recent years we have gone down and he has won fresh at the Valley and he has proven that he races very well fresh.”
Buffering’s 2012 Spring Racing Carnival campaign got off to a strong start with back-to-back victories in the Moir Stakes and Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) but he ran poorly in the Manikato Stakes and Patinack Farm Classic after having an adverse reaction to an inoculation he received in order to be eligible to travel to Hong Kong for the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m).
Heathcote said an overseas trip was a possibility for Buffering but was unlikely to occur this year as he wishes to concentrate on the riches available in Australia.
“It is certainly on the agenda but I’m leaning more towards Perth (for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes) after the adverse reaction last year,” the leading Queensland trainer said.
“A trip overseas is definitely on the cards whether it be next year or even the following year but we would like to get a couple of Group 1’s on his resume before that.”