Brisbane’s leading trainer Robert Heathcote has confirmed the 2013 Stradbroke Handicap is still a race he would very much like to start stable stalwart Buffering in this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival after the weight-for-age features have been run and won.
Mossman five-year-old Buffering was one of the 137 nominations taken this week for the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), Queensland’s richest race to run at Eagle Farm on June 8.
The reigning Queensland Horse of the Year has contested the past two editions of the Stradbroke Handicap and Heathcote is hoping they can line-up for their third consecutive season this winter.
In 2011 Buffering finished fourth to Sincero carrying just 52kg before returning 12 months later to carry 58kg to a brave second behind Peter Moody’s upset Stradbroke Handicap winning mare Mid Summer Music.
Buffering is surely Queensland’s most consistent racehorse finishing in the money in 23 of their 31 career runs which have produced over $2 million in prize money.
A Group 1 trophy however has so far eluded the classy sprinter, Buffering having contested a total of 13 elite level races around the country for seven minor placings.
They flew out of the blocks first-up last Saturday at Doomben to win the Group 2 Victory Stakes over Spirit Of Boom by an easy three and a half lengths setting themselves up for a shot at finally breaking their Group 1 duck Saturday week.
Buffering will jump favourite in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 11, the race drawing 25 nominations, as they were destined to do last year before being scratched out due to injury.
Following the same path as the 2011 carnival when their Victory Stakes success was followed by a BTC Cup third behind interstate superstars Black Caviar and Hay List, Buffering will then go to the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 25.
Seventh to Beaded in a career worst run in the 2011 Doomben 10,000, Buffering was more competitive in last year’s event when a long neck away second to Sea Siren.
If he brings his best and pulls up well from those two WFA Group 1’s then the Stradbroke becomes a viable option depending on the weight they are allocated.
“If he happens to go `bang, bang’ and win the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000, which we’re hoping for at his next two starts, then that will obviously impact on his Stradbroke weight,” Heathcote said.
“But it’s definitely a race we’d definitely love to run him in if everything goes to plan.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming weeks for all the latest Queensland Winter Racing Carnival news and updates including the odds as provided by bookmaker.com.au.
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