Heathcote delighted as Buffering settles in at Sha Tin

Buffering undertook light exercise at Sha Tin racecourse this morning (Friday, 5 December) and trainer Robert Heathcote was on hand to oversee his stable star, who will line up in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint on Sunday, 14 December.

The Mossman gelding had a light canter on the dirt track and Heathcote reported that the four-time G1 winner is in fine order after arriving in Hong Kong on Tuesday along with the David Hayes-trained Criterion.

“Everything’s very good,” said Queensland’s champion trainer. “It was encouraging news I got when I was back home in Brisbane as they walked off the plane. Even the vet here commented how well Criterion and Buffering had done – they got off the plane nice and bright. They’ve been here the three days now and I’m very, very happy.

“Buffering didn’t clean his bin out (at first). As you know, we trainers like to train out of the feed bin – but last night he completely cleaned his bin out. That’s normal. It takes a couple of days to settle in and he’s done that. He’s nice and bright, and when the trackwork rider has just said to me ‘we’ve got to do a little bit more tomorrow, boss’ that’s a good sign to me.”

Buffering heads into his first overseas assignment off the back of three runs in G1 company. After edging Lankan Rupee in September’s Moir Stakes the seven-year-old was a close seventh to the same rival in the Manikato Stakes after a troubled run, and last start, on 8 November, the tough bay was fourth to Terravista in the Darley Classic at Flemington.

“We won’t be doing a lot of work with him,” said Heathcote. “I have a fit racehorse, he’s had some good solid racing in the spring down in Melbourne; he had a Group 1 win in the Moir Stakes, a solid run in the Manikato without a lot of luck – it was a thrilling race – and then a good run behind the three highest-rated sprinters in the world. I’ll maybe give him a look at the course proper on Saturday morning and then on Tuesday morning he’ll have a more searching gallop.”

Heathcote is relishing the upcoming challenge and rates being in Hong Kong with a serious contender as being among his career highlights. And that could turn into an outright pinnacle if Buffering can emulate Falvelon (2000 & 2001), the only other Australian-trained Hong Kong Sprint victor.

“The mere fact that he got an invitation to come here is exciting. I’ve had some highlights in my racing career but to be standing here at Sha Tin – certainly if we can be competitive and win, it would be the highlight of my career,” he asserted.

The G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) carries a purse of HK$18.5 million, making it the world’s richest all-age 1200m turf race. The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races also feature the HK$25 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), the HK$23 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and the HK$16.5 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m).

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave A Comment

© 2019 Racenews · One Bird Design · RSS Feed · Log in