Queensland star Buffering will be forced to carry the topweight of 58kg when attempting to score a first ever Group 1 victory in Saturday week’s $1 million Stradbroke Handicap.
The Robert Heathcote-trained gelding currently has 57kg but that will be adjusted by one kilogram when final fields are named next week following an injury to current topweight Black Piranha.
The two-time Stradbroke winner has been ruled out for the rest of the winter after suffering an injury to his near front sesamoid when last in Saturday’s Doomben 10,000.
The adjustment means Buffering will be go into the Stradbroke Handicap six kilograms heavier than last year when he finished fourth.
The son of Mossman made a terrific return from a stone bruise injury on the weekend when finishing just 0.2 of a length behind favourite Sea Siren despite missing crucial lead-up work.
Despite being rated as the third best sprinter in the country behind Black Caviar and Hay List, Buffering is still chasing an elite level win after placing six times in Group 1 races.
His chances will improve considerably if star filly Sea Siren does not line up to attempt the third leg of the Brisbane sprint treble after winning the BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000.
Saturday’s victory has seen the Fastnet Rock three-year-old receive a 1.5kg weight penalty, taking her to 54kg.
Trainer John O’Shea is hoping to run the talented youngster in the Stradbroke but the final decision will be made by owner Keith Biggs.
“I’d like to run but it’s a matter of first getting the horse happy,” O’Shea said.
“Then of course making sure that Keith and the ownership group are happy that we’re doing the right thing by the horse.”
Sea Siren is currently a $5.00 favourite to win the Eagle Farm feature ahead of Mental ($6.50), Tiger Tees ($8.50) and Buffering ($9.50).
Peter Snowden-trained gelding Mental currently sits at 45th on the order of entry but will gain qualification if he wins this Saturday’s Queensland Guineas.