MOSSMAN gallopers Buffering and Stirling Grove dominated the placings in yesterday’s Group 2 MRC Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield bookending the sprint feature.
While SA gelding Stirling Grove repeated his effort from 12 months ago when third behind Black Caviar, all honours rest with winner Buffering whose victory took his earnings past the $2 million.
It was the Queenslander second Group 2 win in as many starts having taken out the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley late last month.
Having placed in a total of 7 Group 1’s – many of them behind Black Caviar and/or Hay List, Buffering’s time is nigh with the Manikato Stakes now well within sight.
“We know that Black Caviar and Hay List aren’t here and my little tough bulldog has lived in their shadow for a long time and the opportunity is there for him to put his hand up and say I’m the number one sprinter in this country until she (Black Caviar) comes back,” Trainer Robert Heathcote said.
“Perth is still very much a viable option as is Hong Kong but now we go onto the Manikato and he deserves a Group One.”
As for Stirling Grove he is likely to be aimed at the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby day.
Stirling Grove is at home up the Flemington straight having won the Schweppes Tonic by 2.3-lens on Melbourne Cup in 2010.
He was beaten just 1.8-lens behind Sister Madly, Rarefied and Temple Of Boom in last year’s Salinger.