The prospects of Buffering taking his place in next week’s Group 1 $650,000 WFA Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben were boosted with trainer Robert Heathcote revealing that the four year old is finally on the mend from a hoof injury.
Buffering, who is one of twenty-two first acceptors for the Doomben 10,000, was a race morning scratching from the Group 1 $400,000 WFA Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday after sustaining a bruised heel.
The four year old was to start a short priced favourite and looked set to lead all of the way to secure his first Group 1 win after having been denied victory over the Autumn Carnival with placings behind Black Caviar in the $750,000 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 18, Hay List in the $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10 and Foxwedge in the $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23.
With the news that Buffering’s troublesome hoof is on the mend, Heathcote will be trying his hardest to get his stable star back to race fitness for the 10,000.
“The farrier and vet looked at him and they were both over the moon,” Heathcote said.
“He’s 90 per cent right and they are confident there will be no abscess.”
“At this stage I will give him some three quarter work on Thursday morning and then Nash Rawiller will ride him in an exhibition gallop with Woorim in between races at Doomben on Saturday.”
Heathcote had sent Buffering for several sessions at the beach and that has helped to overome the problem and hopefully give the Mossman gelding his chance for Group 1 glory.
If Buffering is not right to gallop at Doomben on Saturday, a run in next week’s Doomben 10,000 is unlikely and that could be the end of his Winter campaign after Heathcote was disappointed with the 57kg he received in the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.
“I was a little disappointed with the weight they gave him, 57 kilos for a horse that’s never won a Group 1,” Heathcote said.
“Okay he’s placed at Group 1 level but I don’t think he should pay a penalty on what he hasn’t done.”
“He’s a little bit of a spruik horse and he’s raced well against Black Caviar and Hay List. Black Piranha’s won two Stradbrokes and I get half a kilo from him.”
“If I didn’t run in the Stradbroke that just means it’s a couple of extra weeks he can have in the paddock.”
Stable mate Woorim is still on track for the Doomben 10,000 after finishing seventh to Sea Siren in the BTC Cup last Saturday.
Heathcote was happy with the way the Oakleigh Plate winner made up ground in the straight and a start in the Stradbroke is also on the cards.
“I was surprisingly happy with his run, a couple of people were disappointed because they thought he might run into the race but it was a really funny race when you analyse it,” Heathcote said.
“The only horses making significant ground from the tail were Woorim and maybe Scenic Blast.”