Brisbane’s head trainer Robert Heathcote has predicted the ‘real’ Buffering to show up for today’s 2014 Doomben 10,000 showdown after the horse was off their game last start.
The Mossman gelding jumped favourite in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben last time out on May 10.
Punters were left frustrated however after the six-year-old got run down after finding the front at the top of the straight eventually finishing just over a length away third behind upset winner Famous Seamus and brave runner-up Spirit Of Boom.
Having tiered badly over the final 100m in the BTC Cup, Heathcote sent the horse for a post-race examination to see if he could answer why ‘The Buff’ got beaten.
“He’d been going only okay going into that race and he jumped a little slowly and then he never really travelled in the race with Damien Browne had to keep at him the whole way,” Heathcote told the Herald Sun.
“The run wasn’t all that bad as he finished third in a Group One event and was beaten just over a length but that wasn’t the real Buffering.”
Buffering was found to be suffering from a sore neck and head and has undergone chiropractic treatment to rectify the issue and get them back to their best for the 10,000.
“I believe he’s at the top of his game. He’s feeling that when I took him for a walk on Thursday he almost got away from me he’s that full of himself,” Heathcote said.
It’s a race the champion has contested twice before when runner-up in 2012 and then third behind Epaulette last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival in a run Heathcote was far from disappointed in.
“That was an amazing effort,” he said.
“Hugh Bowman on Your Song gave him no peace and I think they ran the first 1000m in 58 seconds.
“He couldn’t keep going but I think it’s still one of the best runs of his career even running a place under those circumstances.”
Since then Buffering has also broken his Group 1 maiden with a trio of wins, a Melbourne double then the Winterbottom in Perth, last season.
Their newfound confidence, love of the firm track and recent chiro visits have Heathcote brimming with confidence then for today’s race, so long as Bowman doesn’t muck things up again.
“Bowman on Hot Snitzel might do the same again this year and Gai’s horse Driefontein will also go forward,” he said speaking 10,000 tactics.
It seems the bookies agree with Buffering’s trainer though with Ladbrokes.com.au installing him as the $4 favourite in Doomben 10,000 betting.
The horse most likely to get the better of him today according to Doomben 10,000 odds is Gary Portelli’s Sydney raider Rebel Dane ($4.60).
A four-year-old son of California Dane and a Group 1 winner themselves, Rebel Dane was last seen running fifth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick at the end of April.
That’s the same race Epaulette was also unplaced in last year before bouncing back with a Doomben 10,000 win.
While Rebel Dane has obvious claims, it is actually third pick in the markets Spirit Of Boom ($4.80) who Heathcote rates the biggest danger.
“He’s got the Lankan Rupee form and I expect him to be hitting the line strongly,” he said.
Tony Gollan’s Sequalo six-year-old also ran in last year’s race finishing fourth, and has also broken through at elite level since then with their William Reid Stakes success in Melbourne.
They were one of the two to run down Buffering in the BTC Cup for a nice second, an effort Heathcote certainly hasn’t forgotten.
Whether you’re sticking with the favourite Buffering, or tipping an upset Doomben 10,000 result today, make sure you lock in the best odds by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au who have Best Tote or SP + 20% markets running on this afternoon’s Group 1!