Trainer Rob Heathcote has rated star sprinter Buffering at 100% ahead of his run in Sunday’s Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse.
Buffering returned to racing in spring following a lengthy spell for a fifth win at the highest level in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) in early October; progressing to fifth in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and fourth in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) before heading west to win the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
Continuing his slick run of form with success in the Magic Millions Plate (1300m) on January 9th, the Mossman gelding was undoubtedly at his best when producing a monumental effort to win the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Dubai’s Meydan course in March.
Buffering has reportedly relished his time abroad and is primed for another big performance in the 2016 Chairman’s Prize.
“He’s 100 per cent. No niggles,” Heathcote told AAP.
“When we came here in 2014, he wasn’t 100 per cent and still managed to run sixth behind Aerovelocity.
“I think if he’d been spot on, he might have won that race.”
Having posted an impressive seven Group 1 wins through his 51 career starts so far, Heathcote is confident the horse will handle any conditions that materialise at Sha Tin on Sunday.
“It did take him some time to get that first Group One win but you have to remember he was regularly going around against a champion called Black Caviar and other top horses like Hay List,” Heathcote said.
“He copes well with soft ground.
“We wouldn’t want a heavy track but a track with a little give would be ideal, but scarily that also suits Chautauqua.”
Buffering broke through for a maiden Group 1 win in the 2013 edition of the Manikato Stakes; progressing to success in the VRC Sprint Classic (now Darley Classic) before ending his impressive year with a win in the Winterbottom Stakes.
Purchased for only $22,000, Buffering has amassed an incredible $6.4 million in prize money since first appearing on course competitively in 2010.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 Chairman’s Sprint Prize odds, for which Buffering can be taken at a generous quote of $6 for success.