Instead of taking Buffering to Royal Ascot in June, trainer Robert Heathcote hopes to be toasting his star sprinter a little closer to home.
Heathcote has confirmed Buffering will return to Australia after he attempts to add the Chairman’s Sprint Prize to his Al Quoz Sprint win in Dubai late last month.
“I’ve heard a strong whisper there will be a Buffering bar at the new Eagle Farm,” Heathcote said.
After almost two years, Brisbane’s re-vamped premier track is scheduled to re-open next month.
Although he hasn’t won a Group One race at the Brisbane winter carnival, Buffering is a four-time Queensland Horse of the Year and odds-on for a fifth title, with Group One wins in Melbourne and Perth this season in addition to his Dubai victory.
Heathcote admits he was tempted by the lure of Royal Ascot but in the end he wants to get the horse home after Hong Kong with a view to prolonging his career.
“In the end Royal Ascot was just a bridge too far,” he said.
“It was certainly enticing but I’ve still got a business to run back here and the logistics of it were too hard.
“Mel who is travelling with Buffering is my racing manager back here so I am also without her.
“Buffering’s been to Melbourne, to Perth, to Dubai and now Hong Kong.
“He deserves a trip home and some sun on his back and hopefully I can get him ready to win a fourth Moir Stakes.”
Although the trip to England is off the table, Heathcote is looking forward to Hong Kong where dual TJ Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua will be among Buffering’s rivals.
“Chautauqua is a thrilling animal and clearly the world’s best sprinter,” Heathcote said.
“But there was only a neck between them in the Darley Classic.
“Buffering was vetted this morning ahead of his trip to Hong Kong and the vet in Dubai said he had the cleanest legs for an eight-year-old he’d ever seen.
“I’m looking forward to the race.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au