Trainer Robert Heathcote has revealed that Buffering will have the opportunity to record a maiden Group 1 win in Queensland when he contests the 2014 BTC Cup at Doomben on May 10.
Buffering started his autumn preparation with a slightly disappointing seventh place finish in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on March 15, but he returned to his best form with a tough third place finish on an extremely heavy track in the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) on the opening day of The Championships on April 12.
Heathcote said that he was very proud of the performance of Buffering in the T.J. Smith Stakes and confirmed that the triple Group 1 winner would press on to the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“He was very brave and contrary to what a few media outlets said, Buffering doesn’t go on a heavy nine he just gets through it,” Heathcote told Racing Ahead this morning.
“Damian said that when he let his head go in the straight he wobbled all over the place, but that is taking nothing away from Lankan Rupee – he was absolutely sensational.
“His two runs at this stage will be the BTC Cup and from there on to the Doomben 10,000.
“I will nominate him for the Stradbroke and it is a possible, he has run second in the past two years with 58 kilograms, but he has won three Group 1s since then.
“The handicapper will have a say whether he lines up in the Stradbroke.”
Buffering broke through for his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 last year before taking out the VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9 and the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 23, but is yet to score a win at the highest level of racing in his home state.
The Mossman gelding was favourite to take out the BTC Cup during the 2012 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but was withdrawn from the race with an injury and finished a narrow second behind Sea Siren in the Doomben 10,000 before finishing second in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1200m).
Buffering failed to fire on a heavy track in the 2013 edition of the BTC Cup and was slightly disappointing in the Doomben 10,000, but looked as though he was finally going to record a maiden Group 1 victory in the Stradbroke Handicap before being run down by Linton in the final stages of the racing.
Buffering will take part in an exhibition gallop with stablemates Excellantes between races at Eagle Farm next Wednesday.