Popular sprinter Buffering recorded his breakthrough win at Group 1 level in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
Buffering has been unlucky in Group 1 races on a number of occasions but there was no denying the Mossman gelding this evening and he showed his trademark guts to score a narrow victory over champion Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine who dived late in his first ever start in Australia.
Trainer Robert Heathcote has considered Buffering the best horse in Australia not to win a Group 1 level since he finished third behind Black Caviar and Hay List in the 2012 Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) and was clearly delighted that the six-year-old had recorded his much-deserved breakthrough victory.
“Eighteen goes at a Group 1 and he gets the job done tonight in a $1 million race; that is something special,” Heathcote told the media after the race.
“They say that Lucky Nine is the best sprinter in the world but I have got a better one.
“He puts in every time and the couple of runs out of his thirty starts that he hasn’t there has been something wrong.
“They say that this is the place where legends are made and he is a legend to me.”
Outsider Le Bonsir attempted to challenge Buffering in the early stages of the race but the speedy galloper was able to fight off the Choisir gelding fairly comfortably and was given a number of easy sectionals from the 900 metre mark.
Jockey Damien Browne said that he was surprised he was given such an easy time of it at the front of the field but admitted that Buffering had to dig deep to hold-off Lucky Nine in the final stages of the race.
“I took my time getting across and when Le Bonsir wanted to take us on I was keen enough to go,” Browne said.
“I dictated for a furlong and a half and we went really slow and I was quiet surprised that they let me get away with it for as long as I did.
“At the furlong he really dug in and gave me a length and you know that he is always going to fight but in the last couple of bounds when Lucky Nine was coming I thought come on post.”
Browne has been placed on Buffering at Group 1 level on three previous occasions and was thrilled that he was able to play a part in the tough gelding’s breakthrough win.
“He has accomplished pretty much everything that he can and he just needed to win that Group 1 and to do it tonight is just terrific,” Browne said.
“We were always confident in the horse.
“Everybody was talking Samaready up and we knew that it was a terrific win last time by her but we thought that if we could get a bit of luck mid-race he was going to take a lot of catching as he always proves.”
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2013 Manikato Stakes Finishing Order
|1||2||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||–||10||58.5kg||$7.50|
|2||1||LUCKY NINE (IRE)||Caspar Fownes||Brett Prebble||0.1L||4||58.5kg||$11|
|3||8||SESSIONS||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.4L||5||58.5kg||$20|
|4||6||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0.6L||6||58.5kg||$21|
|5||7||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Dwayne Dunn||1L||9||58.5kg||$8|
|6||4||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Michael Rodd||1.1L||1||58.5kg||$16|
|7||11||DIAMOND EARTH||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||1.2L||3||56.5kg||$51|
|8||10||SAMAREADY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1.5L||7||56.5kg||$2.15F|
|9||5||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Stephen Baster||1.6L||2||58.5kg||$26|
|10||9||LE BONSIR||Mick Price||Michael Walker||2.35L||8||58.5kg||$71|
|11||3||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Craig Williams||3.1L||11||58.5kg||$31|
|12||12||ARINOSA||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||5.85L||12||56.5kg||$11|