Buffering has injured himself in trackwork at Doomben Racecourse this week as the seven-year-old gelding prepared for the 2015 Brisbane winter carnival.
Trainer Robert Heathcote had already opted to skip the autumn carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne in favour of heading north to Brisbane during the winter but the gelding could now miss out on that too.
Buffering was working on the B grass at Doomben when he put his foot in a hole, spraining his off fore fetlock; the fact that the Group One winner hadn’t been allowed to work on the outside of the course proper was disappointing in and of itself to Heathcote.
“It is a sprain and he will have intensive work done on him with anti-inflammatory treatment, ice, water walking, and visits to the beach,” Heathcote told Sky Racing.
“After two weeks we should have the swelling down and hopefully be able to assess if there is any further damage to his leg.
“He is a multiple Group One winner and one of the major winter carnival drawcards.
“But these things happen all the time to horses and what is done is done and we can’t take anything back.”
Buffering is a four-time Group One winner, the last of which he earned in September taking out the AJ Moir Stakes (1200m). The gelding travelled to Hong Kong in December to contest the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) and was being saved for the winter.
Heathcote remains optimistic but will not risk Buffering, only pressing on with winter plans if the gelding proved his fitness.
“I still have some hope that he will be ready for the BTC Cup on May 9 and then the Doomben 10,000 two weeks later,” Heathcote said.
“I may be hopeful but we can’t take chances with him. Any doubt at all and he won’t be running this winter.”
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