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Queensland sprinter Buffering is in doubt of missing Saturday week’s Group 1 2013 TJ Smith (1200m) after suffering a hoof problem.
The six-year-old was due to head to Sydney for a first-up test against the world’s best racehorse but trainer Robert Heathcote admits that is now unlikely.
“Taking on Black Caviar 10 per cent off your game is not going to happen so I’d say he’s probably unlikely at this stage,” Heathcote told RSN.
Heathcote noticed the problem on Thursday morning as the five-year-old was being led out for a piece of routine trackwork.
“We walked him out of his box this morning and he put in a short one,” Heathcote said.
“We ran the hoof testers on him and he’s got a bit of sensitivity there.
“It’s certainly not something we needed nine days out from the TJ Smith.”
If Buffering doesn’t make it to the TJ Smith he is likely to kick off his campaign in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) in Brisbane on April 27.
Also likely to be on his winter agenda are the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 11 and the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 25.
Buffering was a short favourite to win the BTC Cup last year before a stone bruise saw him withdrawn on the eve of the race.
The son of Mossman recovered for the rest of the carnival but was unable to break this Group 1 duck, finishing second in both the Doomben 10,000 and the Stradbroke Handicap.
Buffering has placed behind Black Caviar on three occasions.
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