Missed Sydney Trip Could be a Blessing for Buffering

A missed trip to Sydney could be a blessing in disguise for Queensland’s number one sprinter Buffering who will kick off his winter carnival campaign in the Group 2 2013 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Buffering is fresh and ready for Saturday's Victory Stakes. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

Buffering was due to to run in the TJ Smith Stakes against Black Caviar but had his southern trip abandoned due to a minor hoof injury.

Trainer Robert Heathcote is certainly seeing the positive side, suggesting that the five-year-old is now primed for the winter following a lengthy break.

“I’ve got a horse who’s the new kid on the block. He’s fresh because he’s had the longest break of his racing life,” Heathcote told AAP.

Buffering won the Victory Stakes in 2011 but heavy rain caused the race to be abandoned last year.

The Mossman gelding’s next assignment after Saturday will be in the Group 1 2013 BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm on May 11.

The speedy galloper appeared poised to claim an elusive Group 1 in the BTC Cup last year before a stonebruise injury ruled him out on the eve of the race.

Buffering will then head to the 2013 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 25, a race he finished second in last year.

Also on the cards is Queensland’s most prestigious race, the 2013 Stradbroke Handicap, which hasĀ receivedĀ a boost in prizemoney.

In a bid to attract the strongest field possible Racing Queensland are now offering a $1 million carrot to the winner, up $360,000 from last year.

Also stepping out for Heathcote this winter is Solzhenitsyn who was scratched from Saturday’s Doncaster Mile due to a heavy track.

The six-year-old will run in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 4 and could be aimed at the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).

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