Buffering sore and sorry after Manikato Stakes and in some doubt for Darley Classic defence
ROBERT Heathcote is 80 per cent sure Buffering will be fit to defend his Darley Classic crown on Saturday week despite pulling up so sore from the Manikato Stakes he couldn’t even break into a trot the next day.
Heathcote said Buffering has muscle soreness in his lower back after copping interference and being turned sideways shortly after the start of the Manikato Stakes on Friday night.
“He pulled up very sore actually and too sore that he couldn’t trot on Saturday,” Heathcote said.
“But the good news is (Sunday) morning it had improved markedly, but he needs to because I’ve only got two weeks.
“In saying that he is on anti-inflammatories as well, so he is on medication to take away the pain. “It’s when that wears off we need to see he is right.”
Heathcote will treat Queensland’s favourite horse with kid gloves this week and is upbeat the seven-year-old will be ready to rumble at Flemington on November 8.
“He won’t have a saddle on him until we feel he is ready to accept the saddle and he has had two days of just walking only,” Heathcote said.
“But I’m confident that he will get over it and this is not the first time I’ve had a horse suffer this kind of injury.
“They are generally sore for three or four days and they improve, but at what level will he improve is (the question) and we are keeping our fingers crossed.
“I’m hoping it’s 80-20 (he will run in the Darley Classic) and I don’t want to be pessimistic.”
Buffering drifted to $13 in the Darley Classic market after officially finishing seventh in the Manikato Stakes.
But he was only beaten 0.6 lengths and Heathcote insists there is no reason to lose faith in the Queensland star.
“(Jockey) Damian Browne made the comment to me he felt it was the horse’s toughest run in his entire career,” he said.
“That’s a big call for a horse that has won four Group 1s to go down half-a-length in probably one of most thrilling finishes in a Group 1 and our boy copped interference.
“We both believe if he hadn’t copped interference Lankan Rupee would not have crossed us and that was crucial to us winning the race.
“Obviously the horse has come out of the race quite sore and who knows what it cost us and no one will ever know.
“I’m not making excuses and I don’t think I have to with Buffering.
“He has run second to Black Caviar and Hay List up the Flemington straight and he did win the (Darley Classic, then known as the VRC Sprint Classic) last year.”
Story courtesy Brad Davidson Gold Coast Bulletin