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Veteran sprinter Buffering has continued to produce strong and consistent results for Robert Heathcote through his long and busy racing career, and the Queensland-based trainer has revealed he will return to Melbourne in spring to defend his crown in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).
A four-time Group 1 winner, Buffering undoubtedly found career-best form to date through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; running second in the Moir Stakes first-up before taking out each of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
Having again performed well through the 2014 edition of the Spring Carnival before a trip abroad produced a credible sixth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December, Heathcote confirmed the Mossman gelding has completely overcome a tendon injury which put an end to his Winter Carnival prospects this year and is confident of another standout preparation in spring.
“Very happy with him. He’s been back in for three weeks work now … he’s been back with me for a week and a half and very happy with him,” Heathcote told Racing Ahead.
“We’ll start off in the Moir. I see the Moir has now been reduced to 1000m.
“It’s probably not ideal for Buffering to be honest, it will enable a couple of whippets to get in there and put a bit more early pressure in the race and make it a bit more hard for him to get to the front.
“We’ll go from there to the Manikato. At the end of the day he’s a couple of Group 1s around the Valley and if we can get him back fit, healthy and well we’ll certainly be there again.
“The injury he suffered wasn’t a bad injury. There was some slight damage to an internal fetlock ligament. It wasn’t bad but it required a break.
“He’s had a good, long spell and at this stage of his career as at rising eight-years-old it may well be a blessing in disguise to rejuvenate the old bugger.”
Posting sixteen race wins and a further seventeen minors through 46 career starts, Heathcote revealed Buffering will likely have one barrier trial and a couple of exhibition gallops in Brisbane before travelling to Melbourne in spring.
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