Refreshed from an overseas holiday, leading Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote is back at work preparing his contingent for Melbourne’s prestigious Spring Carnival.
Headlining Heathcote’s team is stable star Buffering who will head to the Victorian capital for a third spring tilt.
The highly-rated sprinter will resume training following a winter spell next week before starting his spring campaign fresh in the Group 2 Schillachi Stakes on October 15.
“He always goes well fresh, we’ll go to the Schillachi Stakes, the Manikato two weeks later and then the Patinack,” Heathcote said.
Despite having placed behind Black Caviar and Hay List on numerous occasions, the son of Mossman is yet to record a Group 1 win and will face tough opposition in both his elite-level spring targets.
The rising five-year-old is set for a rematch with Doomben 10,000 winner Sea Siren in the Manikato Stakes and could again face off with Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm Classic.
Buffering finished three lengths behind the champion mare in the $1 million sprint last year but Heathcote said he will start even if the superstar returns to chase a third Patinack title.
“As Peter [Moody] has always said, the only way you can beat her is through illness or injury and I agree with him,” Heathcote said.
“But we’ll still go to the Patinack.”
Joining Buffering in Melbourne will be Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim and emerging middle-distance runner Solzhenitsyn.
Woorim will resume in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes before being aimed at the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 30.
Solzhenitsyn is the new addition to Heathcote’s spring brigade, earning a trip south through impressive performances at the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
The New Zealand-bred gelding was unbeaten in three winter starts and Heathcote is excited about his prospects in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
“He was terrific in Brisbane during the winter and I’ve always believed he can be an outstanding miler,” Heathcote said.
“We’ll look towards the Emirates with him.”