Star sprinter Buffering has come through his race day gallop in good order and it’s all systems go for another Group One campaign.
The eight-year-old stepped out in public for the first time in months for a gallop between races at Doomben on Saturday.
Buffering missed the Brisbane winter carnival with a ligament injury but trainer Robert Heathcote’s biggest concern now is the fitness of his jockey not his horse.
Damian Browne is recovering from knee surgery and is hoping to be back in time to be reunited with Buffering to defend the Moir Stakes on October 2.
“Three weeks ago Damian rang me and said he was really worried that he wouldn’t be able to ride `Buff’ so we placed Luke Nolen on stand-by,” Heathcote said.
“When I spoke to him last Sunday he was a lot more optimistic but will know more when he sees his surgeon in a couple of weeks.”
All going well after the Moir, Buffering will run in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 23 and the Darley Classic at Flemington in November.
Heathcote is keen to take the eight-year-old back to Perth for the Group One Winterbottom Stakes, a race he won narrowly in 2013 after taking out the VRC Sprint, now Darley Classic.
The winner of four Group One races and placed in a host of others, Buffering has amassed almost $5 million prize money.
Buffering’s galloping partner on Saturday, Hopfgarten, will resume in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 26.
The gelding will then head to the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield in October, which Heathcote won in 2012 and 13 with Solzhenitsyn.