2015 Winterbottom Stakes a Possible Target for Buffering

October 13th, 2015

Buffering returned for a fifth win at the highest level in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) a fortnight ago, but trainer Robert Heathcote has revealed he is yet to settle on a final point of call for the veteran sprinter this time.

Buffering may head west for the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Buffering may head west for the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Jumping from the gates well, jockey Damien Browne allowed Buffering to stride forward and take up the pace in the Moir Stakes alongside classy sprinter Ball Of Muscle; the pair receiving an ideal run in transit before the popular sprinter stamped his dominance in absolutely savaging the line for comfortable victory.

Confirming the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday will figure as his next point of call ahead of an appearance in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on November 7th, Heathcote told AAP he is weighing up a trip to Perth for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) against keeping the eight-year-old fresh for the Magic Millions meet on the Gold Coast in January.

“I am in two minds at the moment,” Heathcote said.

“In fact I am 50-50 on the issue. He would be perfect for the million dollar sprint race at the Gold Coast in Magic Millions carnival.

“But he would also be suited at weight for age in Perth. There is no rush to see where he goes just yet.

“I watched him work on Saturday morning and he was like a three year old. He is a long way off being finished just yet.”

Posting seventeen wins and as many minors through 47 career starts so far, Buffering has undoubtedly been the stable start for Heathcote since first appearing on course in early 2010.

Registering career-best form to date through the 2013 Spring Carnival, the Mossman gelding returned for a close second to Samaready in the Moir Stakes before taking out each of the Manikato Stakes and Darley Classic (then Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic) before a trip west heralded further success in the Winterbottom Stakes.

Returning in 2014 for third in each of the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) and Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), Buffering charged home to win the Moir Stakes first-up in spring, and while luckless and seventh in the Manikato Stakes, responded well in running fourth in the Darley Classic and sixth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December 14th.

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