Browne takes light book for metro return

Damian Browne has taken only two rides for his comeback to Brisbane racing on Saturday.

Browne resumed riding last Saturday when second on News Edition at the provincial Sunshine Coast meeting.

He had not ridden since late June after being ordered to rest a troublesome knee injury.

Browne has taken the rides on Kaiser Franz and Passatorio.

“My doctor wants me to take things slowly. I don’t want to rush things so I am fit to ride in the south this spring,” Browne said.

“I might need cortisone shots in the knee but I don’t at this stage and I want to avoid that if I can.”

Browne said Kaiser Franz and Passatorio were ideal rides for him to make a Brisbane comeback.

“Kaiser Franz shows plenty of staying ability and Passatorio has always been a promising sprinter,” he said.

Browne rode several horses during the Brisbane jump-outs on Tuesday including two of his spring Group One hopefuls in Buffering and Hopfgarten.

The Rob Heathcote-trained Buffering won his jump-out beating Tony Gollan’s speedy three-year-old filly Secret Saga.

However, Browne said Buffering probably wasn’t where he should have been in his lead-up to resuming in the Moir Stakes on September 25.

“He went well but he wasn’t exactly there but he can improve a lot between jump-outs,” he said.

Heathcote was far from worried after Browne’s report about Buffering.

“Initially I was worried when Damian said the wow factor wasn’t there. But then again Buffering hadn’t started for nine months and he didn’t have his blinkers on,” Heathcote said.

“I clocked the jump-outs and his was the fastest by two seconds. I’ve got a couple of weeks to go and Buffering can have another jump-out in a fortnight.”

Buffering missed the winter carnival with a leg injury and has not run since finishing sixth in the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December.

Browne was impressed with the effort of Hopfgarten who won his jump-out.

“It was very good and he looks set for a good campaign,” he said.

Heathcote is looking at starting Hopfgarten in the Group One Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 26.

“I have Hopfgarten a bit more forward than Buffering because he has to go first-up at 1400 metres ,” Heathcote said.


Story courtesy Mark Oberhardt


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