Saturday, 26 May 2012
: Top Queensland sprinter Buffering can repel a strong interstate invasion and record his first Group 1 success in today's Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000.
The top class sprinter has spent much of the last 12 months trying valiantly behind the likes of world class Black Caviar and top colt Sepoy but today, over 1350m in his home state, gets the chance to record an overdue Group 1 win.
Last spring, the Robert Heathcote trained gelding scored a dogged fresh up success in the Group 3 McEwen Stakes at weight for age at Moonee Valley but for connections the campaign was disappointing from there.
He ran well, but could manage only fourth behind Sepoy in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes after doing the early work, then sixth behind the same colt in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint when racing below his best.
He then faced an even tougher assignment in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington, leading and holding on well for second but no match for Black Caviar who won by three lengths.
After a summer spell the gelding resumed in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes and although he could manage only third behind Black Caviar, he took his Timeform
rating to a career best 124.
Next up was the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap, back at Flemington, where connections would have been thrilled with the absence of Black Caviar but he found one better, beaten a nose by the talented Hay List.
His figure from the race was marginally below the previous high.
His third Group 1 sprint in a row was in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley and this time he placed again, beaten by the lightly weighted Foxwedge with the red hot favourite Hay List filling second.
After a short let up he returned to Queensland to ready him for the winter carnival and he seems to be right at home judging on his last performance in the Amatil Stakes on heavy ground, leading throughout to score a seven length win.
While this is a far tougher assignment returning to Group 1 class he has more than handled himself in the grade.Buffering
is a two time winner to Group 2 level and has now placed five times in the top grade. But if it weren't for a purple patch of strong opposition, in the likes of champion mare Black Caviar and the top colt Sepoy, there's no doubt he'd be a Group 1 winner already.
Buffering matched his career best Timeform rating with his last start win but can only be fitter for this after the short break.
He would have raced in the Group 1 BTC Cup a fortnight ago but had a slight bruise to a heel, with Heathcote erring on the side of caution and saving him for this.
The trip suits, although disappointing in this race last year he was a strong fourth the following start in the slightly longer 1400m of the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.
He is accomplished on soft ground and looks hard to toss in today's race.
Buffering is pretty seasoned now as a sprinter and his stiffest opposition is likely to come from two youngsters from Sydney who are both in strong form.Pampelonne
, from the Tim Martin yard, has won his last three and makes his Queensland debut today while another Sydney filly Sea Siren has already struck gold while campaigning in the sunshine state.
Both three-year-olds boast the same record of six starts for four wins and two placings.
Pampelonne has dominated his last two races from the front and comes here with a burgeoning ratings pattern.
He recorded a career best figure when leading throughout over 1200m to take the Listed Gosford Guineas, then took it to another level again last time in the Inglis Guineas at Scone.
There he raced on the speed and led the field around the bend before changing gears and running away with a 3.5 length win.
It was the win of a potentially very good horse and he has further scope for improvement today, especially from an ideal gate in barrier three.
The John O'Shea yard has enjoyed some good success in Group 1 races in Queensland over the years and the promising Sea Siren
continued that last start here.
The filly was able to beat the classy Streama in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes two starts back then stepped up to 1400m next time out and didn't have a lot of luck in the Group 2 Surround Stakes when beaten a long neck by Streama.
Her efforts earned a trip to Queensland and with no Buffering about in the Group 1 BTC Cup she raced on the speed and scored her first Group 1 success.
The filly will be even fitter for the run and looks suited at the slightly longer journey now.
She has drawn ideally and will be on the speed and hard to beat again however history is not on her side as no three-year-old filly has ever been successful in the 78 year history of the feature sprint.
Buffering's stablemate Woorim
ran on well in the BTC Cup and will appreciate the longer journey today.
While not as highly regarded as Buffering he is already a Group 1 winner of the Oakleigh Plate earlier this year and is well suited here to a fast run race over 1350m.
He has a peak Timeform rating of 120 which sits well in this race and he has got to that level twice.
He is not as effective on soft ground, though, so the track condition will be crucial to his chances.Scenic Blast
is going along well and will be hard to hold out as always.
The seven year old was no match for Buffering fresh over 1200m, finishing runner up but beaten seven lengths, then ran on hard in the BTC Cup behind Sea Siren to finish runner up again.
That was his best Timeform figure for the last 12 months and he did rate a little higher than that on his stint in the USA in 2010.
His best figures, though, when recording a rating of 128 when winning the Group 1 Kings Stand in 2009, make him a danger if he is on song.
He may be getting on but he is a three time Group 1 winner and despite a wide gate today will be storming home at the finish.
Meanwhile last year's winner Beaded
who has been struggling to recapture her best form of late is another with history against her.
If she wins this afternoon, Beaded will become the first mare since the first running of the Doomben 10000 in 1933 to win the feature twice.
The only dual winners of the race have been Black Onyx (1969-70), Prince Trialia (1990-1991), Chief De Beers (1995, 1998), Falvelon (2001-02), and Apache Cat (2008-09).
Enjoy a great contest.