A serious Tuesday gallop for Buffering at Sha Tin Racecourse today should have the Robert Heathcote-trained champ fit and ready to go in Sunday’s 2014 Hong Kong Sprint.
The Mossman seven-year-old is preparing for his international debut in the HK$18.5 million Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m), the LONGINES-sponsored race one of four on the Sha Tin program this Sunday, December 14.
A four-time Group 1 winner in Australia, the 45-start veteran has amassed over $4.8 million in prize money that he’ll be looking to add to this weekend in his first run outside of the country.
Knowing the horse owes him and connections nothing, the Brisbane-based Heathcote is nonetheless looking forward to his run and hoping for a big effort against a crack field of fellow international sprinters.
Buffering was last seen running fourth behind some of the world’s highest rated sprinters including the winner Terravista when beaten three lengths in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8 – a race he won last year during a three-straight Group 1 winning streak that finally broke his elite level duck.
On Monday Buffering was given an easy piece of work with a more testing gallop to follow today to round out his preparation for the HK International Sprint.
All reports from Heathcote to the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) are that the horse has settled in well and that he’s in top condition ready for the raid.
“The horse looks well and he seems happy to me. He’s really settled in now and his blood picture’s good,” Heathcote said on Monday.
“He just stretched his legs this morning but he’ll have a more serious gallop tomorrow morning.”
Heathcote also said that later this week Buffering would be taken round Sha Tin Racecourse to help familiarise him will all aspects of the track before Sunday’s big test.
“Later in the week we’ll give him a look at the parade ring. Every little thing can help,” he said.
Futures Hong Kong Sprint betting markets are already open at Ladbrokes.com.au with Aerovelocity, out to atone for a luckless run in the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) last time out, leading the way at $5.50.
Two other local Hong Kong-trained stars are next best in betting with Lucky Nine ($7) and Peniaphobia ($7) also well fancied.
Buffering meanwhile is also high up the Hong Kong Sprint odds at single-figures to win paying $9, equal with British raider Sole Power.
Check out the full Hong Kong International Race Day markets open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy up to $500 as a bonus bet to use on events of your choice this summer racing season!