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The 2015 Winterbottom Stakes field has been released and Buffering is set to take on a capacity field of rivals in the Group 1 event at Ascot on Saturday.
Buffering will return to Perth for the first time since he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and he will take reasonably strong form into the $1 million sprint.
The Mossman gelding started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a typically tough victory in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 2 and he was far from disgraced in both the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23 and the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 7.
Fast ‘N’ Rocking has form lines around Buffering and he will have the chance to record a maiden win at Group 1 level in the Winterbottom Stakes.
The Fastnet Rock gelding returned to winning form with an impressive win in the Listed Caulfield Village Handicap (1200m) at Caulfield on October 14 before he produced one of the best performances of his career to finish fourth behind Chautauqua in the Manikato Stakes.
Talented mare Magnifisio took out the Winterbottom Stakes 12 months ago and she has the opportunity to join La Trice (1970 and 1971), Belinda’s Star (1975 and 1976) and Hardrada (2002 and 2003) as the only horses to win the Winterbottom Stakes in back-to-back years.
Magnifisio has not recorded a race win since her Winterbottom Stakes triumph and she failed to fire in both the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) and Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide, but she performed well without winning in both the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on October 24 and the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on November 7.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes field is Rommel, who is set to return to the races in the Group 1 event.
Rommel took out the Group 2 Western Australian Guineas (1600m) at Ascot on Super Saturday last year and he took out the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28, but an injury ruled him out of the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington and he has not been seen at the races since.
One of the only horses that is set to take winning form into the Winterbottom Stakes is Rock Magic, who took out the Group 3 Colonel Reeve Stakes (1100m) at Ascot on November 3 after he failed to fire in the Listed Farnley Stakes (1400m).
The 2015 Winterbottom Stakes field is rounded out by Watermans Bay, Shining Night, Dawn Approach, Akhedasset, Liberty’s Gem, Checkpoint, Madassa, Sujet, Cool Trade, Sheidel and Lucky Street, while Silverstream is the first emergency.
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