Rob Heathcote’s flying Brisbane sprinter Buffering is gearing up to finally score a deserved Group 1 win when they race in a Hay List, and Black Caviar-less 2012 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse this Friday evening.
Heading the night’s racing the $750,000 Group 1 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) attracted 23 first acceptors earlier in the month, with the Manikato Stakes final field due for release on Tuesday morning.
Sure-to-be favourite in the Manikato Stakes odds is the always-honest Mossman five-year-old Buffering who has been given the chance to rack up a few wins with the absence of the freakishly talented sprinters who have dominated the sprints down under over the past few seasons.
Buffering has faced Black Caviar on three occasions for two thirds and a second, but with the ‘Black Flash’ resting in the paddock this spring has been Buffering’s to shine.
Following another consistent winter prep at home that included two Group 1 seconds, Buffering is undefeated this time in.
First-up he held on to win the Group 2 AJ Moire Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley before he ran away to put an easy one and three quarter lengths on his rivals second-up in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Guineas Day, silencing the doubters that said they couldn’t go back in distance and win.
Now the $22,000 bargain buy will look to add an elusive Group 1 title to his record in the Manikato Stakes which will be their 12th elite level test.
Last spring Buffering ran fourth to Sepoy second-up in the Manikato Stakes but this time they have the fitness edge and are the rank horse in the field.
“The improvement he made from the Moir to the Schillaci was quite noticeable and I still think there’s more left in the tank heading back to the Valley on Friday night,” Heathcote said.
“No sooner had Hugh Bowman gone for the whip in the Schillaci then he immediately put it away because Buffering was responding to everything that was being asked of him.
“When Hugh jumped off him after the race he said straight away the horse had improved five lengths from his win in the Moir.”
Among their more notable rivals likely to be named in the Manikato Stakes field tomorrow are the likes of resuming Doomben 10,000 winner Sea Siren, Gerald Ryan’s flying Sntizel filly Snitzerland out for her fifth straight win and Stradbroke Handicap champ Mid Summer Music.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Manikato Stakes and the other Moonee Valley races including Saturday’s Cox Plate 2012.
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