Brisbane horseman Robert Heathcote has confirmed his stable ace Buffering will trial at Flemington in a final Aussie hit-out three days before he’s scheduled to leave for his maiden international campaign targeting next month’s 2014 Hong Kong Sprint.
The four-time Group 1 winning son of Mossman was last seen running a brave fourth behind Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8, a track he will return to on Friday for an 800m jumpout.
The veteran seven-year-old was last seen in the winner’s stall when posting his fourth elite level success first-up at Moonee Valley on September 26, narrowly holding off the world’s highest rated sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 A.J. Moir Stakes (1200m).
Following that he failed to defend his title in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) back at the track a month later after suffering interference and toughing it home to cross only half a length off the winner Lankan Rupee in a blanket finish.
Heathcote has been pleased with his $4.8 million earner since Buffering ran in the Darley Classic during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and is confident his Friday run will bring him on well before he heads to Hong Kong on the Monday.
“We’ll give him a nice, solid hit-out and that will pretty much top him off,” Heathcote told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“We’ll then take him to Hong Kong and he’ll have one bit of fast work up there.
“I would think that’s enough, because fitness is not really an issue and the beauty of him is that he’s a good traveller.”
Buffering ran at Flemington on Tuesday morning as well and completed his final 400m in a sharp 24.5 seconds down the straight, work that impressed his regular track rider Melanie Sharpe.
“He had his first semi-serious piece of work this morning at Flemington and Melanie rode him and she said he feels fantastic,” Heathcote said.
“He came off the track bucking his brands off.”
The horse will make his debut overseas on Sunday December 14 at Sha Tin Racecourse in the AU$2.7 million Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).
Joining him from Australia will be the now David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Criterion heading over for a shot at the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the green and gold contingent this Hong Kong International Race Day.
Then to back Buffering and Criterion to do the Aussies proud at Sha Tin at the best odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 bonus bet offer for a limited time only!