Trainer Robert Heathcote has revealed that star sprinter Buffering will receive the primary course of inoculations required before heading to Hong Kong, for the 2014 Hong Kong International Sprint, during his stint in the spelling paddock.
Buffering was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished third in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 last weekend and Heathcote is already looking ahead to the spring campaign for the son of Mossman that he hopes will conclude with a run in the 2014 Hong Kong International Sprint at Sha Tin in December.
The tough sprinter was on track to head to Hong Kong for the International Sprint in 2012, but had an adverse reaction to his first round of inoculations and Heathcote opted to postpone the gelding’s maiden international race start.
Heathcote told Racing Ahead that Buffering will receive his inoculations while he is having a break from racing, until in 2012 when he had already started his spring campaign, and is hopeful that will help avoid the previous complications.
“This last week I have been in touch with the authorities in Hong Kong and the vets with regards to the inoculations because two years ago the plan was to go to Hong Kong, but he had an adverse reaction to one of the boosters,” Heathcote said.
“I can give him the primary course now and then within three months of him travelling he just has to have a booster.
“Hopefully we can avoid the same problem again.”
Buffering was the star sprinter of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, taking out the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m), and will have the opportunity to defend his titles this spring.
Heathcote said that Buffering will contest the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley as well as the VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington before heading to Hong Kong approximately three weeks before the running of the Hong Kong International Sprint.
“Fortunately, Buffering has proven during his career that he is a good traveler, as recently as last spring he flew across to Perth and settled in and won the Winterbottom,” Heathcote said.
“It was quite a lengthy trip and he copped well with it.
“I think that they have a flight about a week after the final leg of the series during the spring carnival and that gives you three weeks before the race.”
Heathcote is hoping that Buffering can join Falvelon (2000 and 2001) and All Thrills Too (2002) as the only Australian-trained horses to be successful in the Hong Kong Sprint.