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Trainer Robert Heathcote is confident that speedy sprinter Buffering is in excellent condition heading into the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Buffering finished a strong second behind Samaready in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) just under a month ago but was found to have developed a stone bruise the morning after the race.
Heathcote told Racing Ahead that Buffering had recovered from the minor issue quickly and believes that it has not affected the Mossman geldings’ preparation heading into his 18th race at Group 1 level.
“He has come through ok but it is well documented that he came out of that race with a stone bruise,” Heathcote said.
“It never eventuated into an abscess and we just treated him for a week and it came right.
“We are happy with the horse, I gave him a jump-out at Flemington last week and he went super, so he is going into the race as good as we can have him.
“There are no excuses and we are as happy as we can be.
“Michael Rodd rode him in the jump-out last week and Michael said that he feels fantastic.
“I believe that they ran about three quarters of a second slower than the following heat that Shamexpress was in but Michael never really moved on my boy and he was hardly having a blow.
“His fitness levels are right where we want them and he seems to have the right attitude and his blood work has come back good.”
Buffering jumped straight to the lead in the Moir Stakes and jockey Damien Browne was able to dictate the tempo but was unable to hold-off Samaready who flew home to record a dominant four lengths victory.
Heathcote said that Buffering will go straight to the front of the field in the Manikato Stakes, as per usual, and warned the connections of any other horse that were looking to take on the six-year-old in the early stages of the race.
“He will come out and he will go forward – it is proven over time that is his best way to run,” Heathcote said.
“What our competitors do is up to them, if somebody wants to inject speed good luck, and I am happy to leave it up to Damien.
“If they want to roll along and take Buffering on they do so at their own peril as he has shown in the past.
“At the end of the day if Samaready turns up like she did in the Moir Stakes she is going to be hard to beat but I believe that my lad is going into the race as good as I can have him.
“If things work out well he will certainly make a race of it.”
Buffering has been the best backed runner in 2013 Manikato Stakes betting markets and is now into odds of $6.50.
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