Veteran sprinter Buffering will have to beat a field of young guns if he is to win his fourth Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
The nine year old has risen up off the canvas again after pulling up lame when last of fourteen behind Chautauqua in the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on May 1.
Trainer Robert Heathcote is stunned by the way Buffering has bounced back as he prepares to take on six year old Chautauqua again.
“It is just an amazing return and he has come back seemingly as good as ever,” Heathcote told the Herald Sun.
“It’s incredible. The reality was that, yes, it could have been his last race in Hong Kong and he ran a bad race, but there were reasons behind it and he was lame and they did an endoscopy on him and found he’d had bled down in his engine room.
“And you think, well, that might be it.”
“Without a doubt there’s been a number of times when we thought it was all over.”
“We just have to take each run and preparation as they come along. It’s a cliche, but the horse will tell us when he’s had enough.”
Buffering has drawn barrier six in the nine horse field with regular rider Damian Browne in the saddle and the front running sprinter will have to match motors with the speedy four year old Redzel.
“I’m happy with the draw,” Heahcote said.
‘‘Hopefully we can come across, sit outside Redzel and control the speed.
“It’s a salivating race yet again and I’ve had the pleasure of being in a few of those with this horse.”
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel is a winner at his last two starts after setting a sizzling pace up front and is one of four or five speed machines in the Moir Stakes.
Other on pace runners are the Joe Pride trained Ball Of Muscle, last start Group 2 McEwen Stakes winner Wild Rain, and Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra’s Heatherly.
The Mick Price trained three year old Extreme Choice is six years Buffering’s junior and will be puting the old timer to test at the end of the 1000m.
While Extreme Choice has won two of his three victories from the front, connections have said that they will be happy to take a sit behind the hot pace from the outside barrier.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua who is currently rated as the best sprinter in the world, will sit out the back from barrier five with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle before unleashing his powerful finishing burst that he produced in his last to first win in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin with Tommy Berry aboard.
Berry was also in the saddle the start before when Chautauqua came from last on the home turn to win back to back Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Chautauqua heads the Moir Stakes market order at $2.15 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Buffering has had some support to firm into $6.50.
Market order for the Moir Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.15 Chautauqua, $4.80 Extreme Choice, $6.50 Buffering, $7.50 Lucky Hussler, $13 Heatherly, $21 Redzel, $21 Ball Of Muscle, Wild Rain, $31 Chloe In Paris.