Popular sprinter Buffering produced a typically tough performance to take out the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot this afternoon.
Buffering started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with his fifth Group 1 victory in the Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 2 and he performed well without winning in both the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 23 and the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 7.
Jockey Damian Browne was able to find the rail on Buffering at the 600 metre mark and he kicked away when he was asked for an extra effort to claim his sixth Group 1 victory in the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes.
Trainer Robert Heathcote was delighted to see Buffering return to Perth with a win in the Winterbottom Stakes and he revealed that trips to Dubai and Royal Ascot are now both on the agenda for the eight-year-old.
“Eight-years-old and six Group 1s now,” Heathcote said.
“I was worried there at the corner, but I have to give so much credit, he just rode a beautiful race.
“He didn’t come charging over and he left something in the tank and he was too strong.
“I am just so incredibly proud, what a wonderful animal.
“He has won another Group 1.
“I got a phone call from Dubai the other day and I am keen to go there now in March,” Heathcote said.
“Then there is a place on the other side of Dubai – it is called Ascot.
“He is such a wonderful horse and if he is sound and happy and racing with the enthusiasm that he is then we will enjoy the journey.
“We have the Magic Millions to head to now, so we will get him home and if he comes through that in good order – Dubai is a nice place.”
Browne took his time to find the rail on Buffering and he revealed after the race that he was keen to get going slightly early on the veteran gelding in an attempt to get the rest of his rivals off the bit.
The plan worked to perfection, but the typically modest hoop was quick to pay credit to the training performance of Heathcote following the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes.
“That was painless,” Browne said.
“Full credit to Rob and Mel and the whole team, they have really rejuvenated this old fellow and that is showing in the way that he is racing.
“He felt on top of his game and I was fairly comfortable the whole way.
“I knew that if I didn’t try too hard to try and get there I could kick a bit earlier and put a bit of pressure on before they get to the straight.
“He gave me a good kick.”
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