Even though the Group 2 $175,000 Coca-Cola Amatil Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm tomorrow has attracted a small field, it will develop into a great tactical race.
Speedsters Adebisi and Buffering have shown in the past they both like to lead and the chance of them eye balling each other could set the race up for one of the other three runners.
Premier jockey Chris Munce says Adebisi is one of the best gate speed horses he has ridden, comparing him to the brilliant Spark Of Life and multiple Group 1 winner Dance Hero.
“From a standing start he’s right up there with Spark Of Life and Dance Hero and he’s every bit as fast as that pair,” Munce said.
And Munce is not worried about the tactics that will be employed by Jim Byrne on Buffering and said he will ride Adebisi the best way for him.
“That’s up to them. Not me. I will ride my horse to suit him, I’m not too fussed what they do with Buffering,” he said.
“Adebisi has raced best in front, but he doesn’t have to lead to win.”
“I won on him first up last prep but going on what he did the other day, I think the horse has improved again.”
“On what he showed me first up, he can take the step to weight-for-age. There was just something about that effort that intrigued me. He maintained a pretty solid tempo throughout and still sprinted home in a slick sectional.”
While trainer Robert Heathcote has pointed out that Buffering has mixed it up with the best at the highest level and has performed creditably.
“Buffering has proven himself many times at weight-for-age. Now if Adebisi wants to go hell for leather with 58.5kg on his back, then away you go,” Heathcote said.
“That’s where Jimmy needs to ride his own race and just let Buffering run at a tempo he’s comfortable with.”
“His work on Tuesday was brilliant.”
Byrne will be having his first ride on Buffering replacing Michael Rord who has ridden the four year old at his last three Melbourne starts.
Heathcote sent Buffering for a freshened up after acquitting himself well at Group 1 level with three placings from three starts in February and March.
The Mossman gelding was denied a Group 1 win when beaten by the shortest of margins by super sprinter Hay List in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10 then set the pace when two and a half lengths third to Foxwedge and Hay List in the Group 1 $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23.
“These horses that go around against the best, it does take a lot out of them and you have to give them a break,” Heathcote said.
“You can’t keep going to the well, we gave him ten days in the paddock and freshened him up a bit and he is absolutely bucking his brand off.”
Buffering is looking to win back to back Victory Stakes after defeating Atomic Force last year on a slow track and Heathcote is aiming him towards to the Group 1 $400,000 Smirnoff BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben in two weeks.
Jockey Shane Scriven continues on the comeback trail and will be aboard Western Australian sprinter Scenic Blast in the Victory after partnering his stable mate Scenic Shot when third in the Listed Members Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday at his first ride for almost ten months.
The seven year old hasn’t raced since finishing fifth to Black Caviar in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 5 last year.
The Daniel Morton trained gelding hasn’t won since taking out the Group 1 $340,000 King’s Stand Stakes (1005m) at Royal Ascot on June 16, 2009 and has had an extensive overseas campaign including runs in Japan, Hong Kong and the USA.