Buffering, Chautauqua in Hong Kong clash

Star sprinter Buffering is fit and ready ahead of his trip to Hong Kong from Dubai but is not 100 per cent certain to complete his international campaign at Royal Ascot.

Buffering won the Group One Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai two weeks ago and is now headed to Hong Kong for the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize on May 1.

He has remained in Dubai with strapper Melanie Sharpe and is due to fly to Hong Kong on Wednesday.

“Buffering has done well after his Dubai run and I am in constant contact with Mel,” trainer Robert Heathcote said.

“At this stage he is to run in Hong Kong and then go straight to England for the King Stand at Royal Ascot on June 16.”

“I have made a few calls this week about which way we can get him there.

“It is going to cost a bit of money but he has won $7 million so that is not really a factor.

“Australian horses have a good record in the King’s Stand but we will have to let Buffering tell us if we will press on with the campaign.”

Among his opponents in Hong Kong will be Chautauqua who defended his TJ Smith title at Randwick on Saturday.

Like Heathcote, Chautauqua’s co-trainer John Hawkes is not committed to Royal Ascot.

“He is definitely going to Hong Kong,” Hawkes told Sky Sports Radio.

“It’s great prize money and it would be a thrill to win a race like that.

“Ascot? I don’t know about that.

“We’ll worry about Hong Kong and see what happens. We’ll take it one step at a time.”

An added incentive for connections of Chautauqua to go to England if he can win in Hong Kong is the $1 million bonus on offer for a horse that can win three legs of the Global Sprint Challenge in three different countries.

Chautauqua won the Australian part of the series, the Lightning Stakes.

Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au

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