After tackling three Group One races in a row, the Rob Heathcote trained Buffering goes into the Group Three WJ Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday as one of the most fancied runners.
After winning the Group Two Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm in April, Buffering has raced at Group One level in the BTC Cup, the Doomben 10,000 and the Stradbroke Handicap.
Buffering was gallant when finishing third in the BTC Cup behind the best two sprinters in the land, Black Caviar and Hay List. He then produced a shocker in the Doomben 10,000 after copping interference at the start of the race. However it was his run in the Stradbroke that had many people raising their eyebrows.
In the Stradbroke, Buffering turned in front, on equal footing with Listen Son. Where Listen faded, Buffering just kept on producing. While the fast paced meant he was probably never going to win, the way he stuck it out at the end of the 1400m, has many predicting the three year old will go on to bigger and better things.
Before that he has one more obstacle, the WJ Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm.
Buffering’s preparation has been left in the hands of Heathcote’s racing manager Melissa Leitch, as Heathcote is on Holidays in Canada.
Leitch confirmed that Buffering would go into the WJ Healy Stakes wearing winkers for the first time.
“He wore winkers in a gallop on Tuesday and Larry (Cassidy) was really pleased with his work,” Leitch said.
“We thought about putting blinkers on him but we decided to go with the winkers to help sharpen him up as he’s dropping back in distance.
“We intended to put winkers on him the day he won the Roman Consul in Sydney last year but the notification didn’t go through so he raced without them and still won.”
Leitch also confirmed that Buffering is expected to lead in the WJ Healy Stakes. However with noted front runners Warrior Girl and Trusted Partner in the race, Buffering won’t want to get drawn into an early speed battle, so he may also take a sit just behind the leaders.
The Healy Stakes was always on the cards for Buffering, and Leitch believes the horse has trained on well since his run in the Stradbroke.
Regardless of the result tomorrow, Buffering will be given a spell, then aimed at the Melbourne spring carnival.
“Buffering will have a six week break after this run and then will have two runs in Sydney before heading to Melbourne,” Leitch said.
“We’re planning to take a number of horses away for the spring and hope to have about seven racing all the time.”
Buffering goes into the Group Three WJ Healy Stakes as a solid $2.80 favourite.