TRAINER Robert Heathcote has nominated the feature Group One BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben this winter as the main goal for his outstanding Mossman three-year-old Buffering.
Buffering returned to Heatcote’s stable last week after pre-training at Washpool Lodge outside of Brisbane but won’t be rushed into a late autumn carnival campaign in Sydney.
The reigning Group Two AJC Roman Consul Stakes winner hasn’t raced since finishing fourth in the Group One VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby day.
Buffering has raced 11 times recording 6 six wins, 3 seconds and one third with earnings over more than $600,000.
“Buffering had a good spell which he needed after the spring,” Heathcote said.
“He’s come back a lot bigger and stronger and has matured a lot physically.”
Heathcote told AAP that he is considering a number of paths to take with Buffering in the winter.
“I’ve got a couple of options with him,” he said.
“He could kick off in the Listed Bribie Handicap at Eagle Farm in April and then head to the Group Two Victory Stakes at weight-for-age at Eagle Farm in April.
“That race could open the door for him to the (Group One) BTC Cup.
“The other path is he could resume in a three-year-old set-weights race in mid-April which looks attractive as he could still go to the Victory Stakes and BTC Cup.”
Heathcote is delighted with Buffering’s growth spurt during his layoff.
“He’s only got to find a couple of lengths on his spring form to be a genuine Group One performer,” he said.
“He’s already shown me he’s got the quality and ability.”