Outstanding sprinter Buffering has continued to relish his time in the sun after posting another Group 1 success in the VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington.
Buffering fell short at his first 19 attempts to win at Group 1 level before breaking through when he defeated the Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 before repeating the effort in the VRC Sprint Classic.
The son of Mossman’s trainer Robert Heathcote said Buffering pulled up with a slight hoof issue after the Manikato Stakes but the gutsy galloper quickly overcame the problem to be in perfect condition for the final day of the Flemington carnival.
Jockey Damian Browne showed plenty of faith in Buffering’s condition, letting his mount assume his customary on-pace role, leaving him exposed to the prevalent headwind on the day while many of his rivals gave away ground to seek cover in the first 400 metres of the race.
Buffering found two lengths when he quickened at the 450 metres, putting many of his rivals under pressure while Damien Oliver was unable to get the Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress (O’Reilly – Volkrose, by Volksraad) into clear running until the 200 metres.
Shamexpress rattled home once he broke out of the pack but the tigerish Buffering refused to wilt late in the race, confirming the runner-up’s task as impossible when he crossed the line three-quarters of a length in front to record his maiden victory down the Flemington straight course.
Heathcote said the absence of recent obstacles had left Buffering ready to claim the mantle of Australia’s best sprinter in the 2013/14 season.
“Little Buffering has done the job and as I said to the boys earlier, there’s no Black Caviar, no Hay List, no Sepoy, there’s a Buffering,” he said.
“There were probably a few unanswered questions after the Manikato because a couple of people through he might have been lucky but there was no luck in that today, it was pure guts, determination and ability.”
Buffering sent his earnings through the $3.8 million barrier after banking another $600,000 for his VRC Sprint Classic win but Heathcote said he would belatedly fulfil a promise to send his star west to tackle the $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 23.
“I’m still going to Perth because I’ve promised the boys so hopefully he’ll be a nice drawcard for their carnival then he’ll come home to Brisbane,” he said.
“It (international racing) is certainly a possibility and Hong Kong looks attractive at this stage now that he’s got the couple of Group 1 wins.”
Buffering’s VRC Sprint Classic win provided the consistent Vinery Stud stallion Mossman with his second stakes win of the Emirates Stakes meeting after the Gerald Ryan-trained Dothraki (Mossman – Volantis, by Flying Spur) won the Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m).
Buffering’s dam Action Annie (Anabaa – Overdue Reaction, by Be My Guest) produced a Hidden Dragon colt in 2011 while she is expecting a foal by Love Conquers All in the coming weeks.