Robert Heathcote-trained gelding Buffering will have to beat just four other horses when he attempts to defend his title in the Group 2 2012 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm this weekend.
The talented four-year-old will use the event as the start of a Brisbane campaign that is likely to include attempts at the Group 1 BTC Cup, Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap.
A winner of eight of 23 starts, the Mossman gelding has fewer victories than perhaps his ability deserves given he has placed behind star sprinters Black Caviar and Hay List on several occasions.
His 2012 to date is a prime example which began with a third-place effort to the star pair in the Lightning Stakes before losing by half a head to Hay List in the Newmarket Handicap and placing behind Foxwedge and Hay List in the William Reid Stakes.
He will be joined in Saturday’s field by seven-year-old Scenic Blast who made a return to Australian racing last spring after a stint overseas.
The Daniel Morton-trained gelding has drawn the inside barrier which is one inside Buffering who will almost certainly start as the race favourite.
Also named in the final field is Spirit Of Boom, a half brother of Saturday’s Galaxy winner Temple Of Boom and also part of Tony Gollan’s Queensland-based stables.
The promising four-year-old has a chance to avenge his runner-up finish last start when he comes up against Adebisi who beat him by two-and-a-half lengths in a Listed race at Doomben on April 14.
The final contender in Saturday’s Eagle Farm feature race is Starcraft gelding Starstreamed who is stepping up to Group level racing for the first time.
Set to jump as the fourth race at Eagle Farm this Saturday at 2:05pm, the Victory Stakes is one of two feature races in Brisbane this weekend with the other the Gunsynd Classic.
It marks the beginning of a big winter canrival in the Queensland capital that sees the top horses come from across the nation to contest a series of elite level events.
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Victory Stakes 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||X42533X45X||SCENIC BLAST||Daniel Morton||Shane Scriven||1||58.5kg||108|
|2||4X1462X323||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Jim Byrne||2||58.5kg||110|
|3||2X593911X2||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Ric McMahon||3||58.5kg||102|
|4||065X1139X1||ADEBISI||Desleigh Forster||Chris Munce||5||58.5kg||101|
|5||8140X41733||STARSTREAMED||Tony Webb||Paul Hammersley||4||58.5kg||72|