Champion sprinter Buffering completed a historic treble by holding off Moment Of Change to win the Group 1 2013 Winterbottom Stakes(1200m) at Ascot this afternoon.
Buffering was forced to do a great deal of work in the early stages of the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), by Barakey, and looked as though he was going to be caught in the final 50 metres by a fast-finishing Moment Of Change but drew on his trademark guts and bravery to complete the Manikato Stakes/VRC Sprint Classic/Winterbottom Stakes treble.
Trainer Robert Heathcote admitted that even he has been surprised by just how well Buffering has performed this preparation and was quick to pay credit to the rest of his staff; especially Melissa Leitch who has looked after his charges while they have been based interstate for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He is an extraordinary animal, he is so resilient, and to win three Group 1’s in a row is kind of crazy stuff,” Heathcote said.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but what a super job Mel has done.
“She has been away from home for six weeks and the Group 1’s keep on coming.”
Heathcote was hopeful before the race that last year’s Winterbottom Stakes winner Barakey would not fight for the lead in the early stages of the race but the leading Western Australian sprinter gave Buffering and jockey Damien Browne a great deal of trouble.
The leading Queensland trainer said that the race didn’t go exactly to plan but was delighted with the way that Browne handled the tough circumstances.
“That is why I have more confidence having Damien on than anybody because he just knows the capabilities of the horse and he knows that he is up for a dogfight,” Heathcote said after the race.
“He really dig deeps and he is a tough little animal.”
Browne has developed an amazing partnership with Buffering over the last 12 months and was once again left in awe of the Mossman gelding’s fighting ability and the way that he can fight through adversity time and time again.
“He is a wee champion, he pushes hard when he is down and out, and they almost had me on the canvas at the fifty metre mark but he just dug in,” Browne said.
“He is exactly the same every time and he is just a pleasure to do anything with.”
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2013 Winterbottom Stakes Finishing Order
|1||1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||–||8||58.5kg||$2|
|2||3||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0.05L||9||58.5kg||$7|
|3||5||WATERMANS BAY||Peter & Matthew Giadresco||Glenn Smith||1.5L||6||58.5kg||$41|
|4||2||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Nicholas Hall||1.5L||1||58.5kg||$7.50|
|5||12||SHINING KNIGHT||Grant Williams||William Pike||2L||3||58.5kg||$31|
|6||13||POWER PRINCESS||Simon A Miller||Peter Knuckey||2.75L||11||56.5kg||$8.50|
|7||6||BEACH EXPRESS||Adam Durrant||Daniel Staeck||3.5L||12||58.5kg||$151|
|8||8||TIGER PETE||Steve Wolfe||Jarrad Noske||3.75L||7||58.5kg||$81|
|9||4||BARAKEY||Jim P Taylor||Jason Brown||4.75L||2||58.5kg||$5.50|
|10||9||THE RISING||Trevor Andrews||Shaun Mc Gruddy||6L||10||58.5kg||$31|
|11||7||EXCELORADA||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||7.5L||4||58.5kg||$101|
|12||11||DOMINATING||Neville Parnham||Damien Oliver||9.75L||5||58.5kg||$21|