Heathcote Confident in Buffering’s 2014 Hong Kong Sprint Chances

November 28th, 2014

Charging home to secure a fourth victory at the highest level of racing during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, trainer Robert Heathcote is confident veteran sprinter Buffering is more than a chance of success when he lines up for the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on December 14th.

Trainer Robert Heathcote is confident of a competitive performance from Buffering in the 2014 Hong Kong Sprint. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Trainer Robert Heathcote is confident of a competitive performance from Buffering in the 2014 Hong Kong Sprint. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Securing a commendable race record of 16 wins and a further 17 minor places over his 45 competitive appearances on course so far, Buffering displayed an exceptional turn of foot in the final straight to overcome a classy field and win the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) first-up on September 26th, and while luckless when seventh in a fanning finish in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), ran a brave fourth behind Terravista, Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8th.

Thrilled with the form and condition displayed by the Mossman gelding in the lead-up to his maiden international tilt, Heathcote told the Herald Sun he is pleased Buffering is the only Australian confirmed for the 2014 Hong Kong Sprint and is confident his style will suit the quick early tempo often produced at Sha Tin.

“I’m pleased that the three who finished in front of him in the Darley; Terravista, Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee are not going,” Heathcote said.

“I think Australia has the best sprinters in the world and without them there it gives us a second to none chance of winning the race.

“They really fly and it is really on from the get-go, but I take encouragement that so many finished so close together,” he added of Sunday’s Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) in Hong Kong, playing host to several of Buffering’s confirmed Hong Kong Sprint rivals.

“If Buffering can repeat any of his runs in the Moir, the Manikato or the Darley he must be a genuine chance.”

Undoubtedly finding career-best form over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Buffering placed second to Samaready in the Moir Stakes first-up before claiming three impressive victories at the highest level back-to-back in taking out the Manikato Stakes, VRC Sprint Classic (now Darley Classic) and Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).

Unable to reach the same racing highs over four autumn and winter starts this year, Buffering placed seventh in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) first-up before running third in each of the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) and Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).

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