Buffering confirmed his status as Australia’s leading sprinter with a thrilling win in Saturday’s Group One Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth.
In holding out Moment of Change by a breath, Buffering notched a third straight Group One victory after a successful Melbourne spring campaign.
On the pace throughout, Buffering burst to the front at the top of the straight and then had to call on all reserves as the Peter Moody trained Moment of Change emerged with a strong challenge over the final few hundreds metres.
In a desperately close photo finish, Buffering got his nose down right on the line to beat the locally bred and sold star by the smallest of margins.
Most punters felt the race was a battle between Buffering and local star Barakey. Unbeaten in WA, Barakey won last year’s Winterbottom, but after showing speed he weakened from the corner and wound up in ninth place.
Trainer Rob Heathcote said the tough gelding would now return home to Queensland for a well deserved spell after a wonderful preparation.
“He’s an extraordinary little animal,” Heathcote said after the race. “He’s so resilient.”
“What a feat! Three Group Ones, it’s kind of crazy stuff,” he added.
Jockey Damian Browne described Buffering as a “wee champion” when quizzed by Sky Racing’s Bernadette Cooper.
A son of Vinery Stud sire Mossman, Buffering was bred in Queensland by well known thoroughbred breeder and racing administrator Kevin Dixon and sold through his Racetree operation at the 2009 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sae.
It was there that a young Buffering caught the eye of leading New Zealand based bloodstock agent Paul Willetts and he bid $22,000 for the future star for his good friend Rob Heathcote.
After a string of outstanding runs at racing’s elite level, Buffering broke through for his first Group One win at Moonee Valley before going back to back at his most recent start at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
As it stands the courageous Queenslander boasts a career record of 15 wins and 14 minor placings from 38 starts and massive earnings of over $4.1 million.
Nine of Buffering’s 15 wins have come in group races across all four states he has visited.
Buffering is one of 25 stakes winners for his sire, Success Express’ Group One QTC Classic winning son Mossman.
He is the star performer to date for his dam, the Sydney winning Anabaa mare Action Annie – a half sister to international stakes performers Instant Strike and Don’t Go Crazy.
Further back it is the same family as international stars Martha Stevens, Relaxed Gesture, Wait Till Monday and Evolving Tactics.
Buffering’s sire Mossman has 14 lots catalogued in Books 1 & 2 for the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale including a filly from Group One winner Allow and a three quarter brother to South African Group Two winner Royal Zulu Warrior.
Breeding: Mossman-Action Annie (Anabaa)
Race: WATC Winterbottom Stakes G1 (1200m)
Sold for: $22,000
Sale: 2009 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale
Buyer: Paul Willetts
Owner(s): Mrs V Heathcote, S Krslovic, C Moore, R Ciobo, D Merola, C Lord, Crafty Racing Synd, Aspariamo Racing Synd & B Harry
Trainer: Robert Heathcote (Eagle Farm)