Today Buffering put his hand up to declare himself the best sprinter currently getting around with a brilliant win in the Schillaci Stakes 2012 at Caulfield Racecourse, the Brisbane raider cashing in on the absence of sprint stars Black Caviar and Hay List.
The ultra-consistent Mossman gelding has now won 11 of their 28 starts finishing out of the money just twice.
Always showing plenty of promise the now five-year-old was unlucky to run into two freakish gallopers right when he was hitting his peak, however this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival definitely looks like the Rob Heathcote-trained champ’s time to shine.
“Look we knew Black Caviar and Hay List were out,” Heathcote said after the Schillaci win.
“And my little tough bulldog’s lived in their shadows for a long time.
“(But now) the opportunity is here for him to put his hand up and say ‘I’m the number one sprinter in the country’…until she (Black Caviar) comes back anyway.”
After resuming with a tight first-up win in the Group 2 AJ Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 28 there were some queries and concerns with Buffering dropping back to 1000-metres for today’s $220,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes on Caulfield Guineas Day.
Even Heathcote admitted the AJ Moir wasn’t originally on the spring agenda for Buffering, but that they reshuffled the program when he was working too well at home.
“Look there were 180,000 reasons why I added that race and it paid off,” Heathcote said with a smile talking about the prize money.
The superlative sprinter put to bed any doubts over their ability to handle all distances however when they ran away with the Schillaci win with improvement to come.
After getting away okay Buffering sat on the tail of speedy filly Malausn who began brilliantly and got going to the front.
Kicking up on the inside Buffering and jockey Hugh Bowman sat just off the leader with many doubting the favourite’s chances at this stage with Buffering ($2.60F) never having won a race that he didn’t lead.
The eventual winner quickly silenced his critics however, Buffering coaxing up to take the lead with 200m to go.
He continued to pull away and was too good and too strong for his rivals.
“A lot more relieved,” Heathcote said after Buffering got the job done today.
“We were confident we had the horse right.”
A good effort from consistent four-year-old Golden Archer ($6), looking to hand Peter Moody with his third Schillaci following the dual wins of turf genius Black Caviar (2010, 2011), saw them finish one and a quarter lengths away second in a tight finish for the minor placings, Richard Jolly’s Adelaide visitor Stirling Grove ($26) awarded third a further short half-head away.
“The conditions suited with the weight-for-age and my only little query was the 1200 back to the 1000 but he’s a quality sprinter he’s shown that over his career,” Bowman said.
“This might just be his time.
“The pace was strong, I got out and I was going a pace I was comfortable with.
“Buffering loved it.”
Buffering will back-up in the $750,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday October 26 under the lights during the Cox Plate Carnival, Bowman saying he had plenty of upside heading towards the elite level.
Heathcote is also considering a trip across the country for the Perth Summer Racing Carnival in November and also hasn’t ruled out the Hong Kong Sprint in December for Buffering this year.
“Perth is still a very much a viable option,” he said.
“As too is Hong Kong.
“But for now we go onto the Manikato, he deserves that Group 1 number.”
Check out the complete 2012 Schweppes Schillaci Stakes results, margins and starting prices in the table below.
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2012 Schillaci Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Guineas Day Race 4 – 13/10/2012
|1||1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Hugh Bowman||–||7||58.5kg||$2.60F|
|2||5||GOLDEN ARCHER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1.75L||10||58.5kg||$6|
|3||6||STIRLING GROVE||Richard Jolly||Craig Williams||1.85L||2||58.5kg||$26|
|4||4||PAMPELONNE||Tim Martin||Corey Brown||2.05L||4||58.5kg||$6|
|5||2||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||James McDonald||3.3L||3||58.5kg||$9|
|6||8||DIDNTCOSTALOT||Marc Conners||Peter Robl||3.4L||8||58.5kg||$26|
|7||9||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||3.6L||1||56.5kg||$16|
|8||7||SNITZEM||Leon Corstens||Glen Boss||4.6L||6||58.5kg||$14|
|9||10||MALASUN||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||5L||9||51kg||$26|
|10||3||FIRST COMMAND||Anthony Freedman||Steven Arnold||5.1L||5||58.5kg||$17|