Seven-year-old gelding Buffering is all set to travel to Hong Kong for the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on December 14, with one last veterinary examination and gallop the final boxes to be ticked before he flies out.
The four-time Group One winner will be given a thorough veterinary exam on Wednesday before a gallop on Friday. The gelding has been working in Melbourne since the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8 rather than travelling home to Brisbane.
Robert Heathcote is excited about Buffering’s chance to perform on the world stage against the likes of Irish horse Gordon Lord Byron, who won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in March. The trainer is confident Buffering will be a contender for the 2014 Hong Kong Sprint title.
“It has been a wonderful trip with Buff and if any horse deserves a chance to shine on the international scene it is him,” Heathcote said to Sky Racing.
“He has had his shots and the vet will go over Buffering completely on Wednesday. It is to make certain that the Hong Kong Jockey Club isn’t wasting its money.”
Buffering is due to leave for Hong Kong on December 1 while Heathcote will follow two days later to oversee the gelding’s final lead-up.
The gelding won the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) first up this spring, just holding on to beat home favourite Lankan Rupee. He was then severely hampered in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) next time out. He ended up the outside lead and looked under pressure at the turn but toughed it out to finish just half a length off the winner in seventh place.
Buffering’s last start of the season was in the 2014 Darley Classic at Flemington. He jumped well to be in a leading few but looked gone at 400 metres out. However he managed to fight on bravely as he always does, finishing in fourth place just outside the placings.
Criterion is the only other Australian horse travelling to the Hong Kong meeting, entered in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m). The Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) runner-up will have a gallop later this week before flying out.
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