Larry Cassidy returns Buffering to scale after the two-year-old topped $300,000 prizemoney from only four starts (Dan Costello photos)
For just over a month, a two-year-old winners’ circle in Brisbane without Buffering would have felt a bit empty…and not just due to the convoy of connections that follow him to racedays.
The Robert Heathcote-trained gelding has made a comfortable home on top of the two-year-old crop posting four wins from as many starts.
His latest came in the $150,000 CFMEU Mining and Energy QTIS 600 2YO Plate 1100m at Ipswich on Monday, May 3.
Heathcote has made no secret about his willingness to simply follow the QTIS 600 money around Brisbane with Buffering who was purchased for only $22,000 from the inaugural QTIS 600 Magic Millions Yearling Sales in March 2009.
As a result the gelding, by Mossman out of Action Annie, now boasts $319,500 in career prizemoney boosted by $126,000 in QTIS and QTIS 600 added stakes.
“The incentive scheme is proving to be such a bonus,” Heathcote said, who is an unabashed fan of QTIS 600, which allows owners to receive early financial reward in their thoroughbred’s racing career.
“People out there would say it’s a little unfair for one horse to win so much, but I think he’s a little bit of a special horse.
“The time will come when he is going to be headed, but he’s run in four races, won all of them and no horse has got his head in front of him.
“The next step will see him run into better horses, such as his next challenge in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes.”
Buffering finally made a mark on the lucrative QTIS 600 Race Series, which encompasses the state, after a positive ride from jockey Larry Cassidy.
The two-year-old led from start to finish in the large field of 16 runners at Ipswich to verify his $1.40 favouritism.
A portion of Buffering’s connections were at Ipswich to taste success in the QTIS 600 Race Series
On the way to posting a new class record that has stood for 15 years, Buffering still showed racing immaturity in the straight shifting wide of the rails, but caused little problem for any competitors as he had surged away.
“He does a few things wrong and we’re not entirely sure why he does it,” Heathcote said.
“There’s no soreness or lameness. Larry Cassidy suggested that he may do it waiting for other horses.”
There are no complaints from the trainer after his two-year-old fell only one second outside the 1100 metre Ipswich track record held by Todonic since 1982.
Buffering posted a two length win to Devinardi, who started over the odds ($15) finishing swiftly in second place with Ken Pope onboard.
The Trevor Bailey-trained gelding took out an earlier leg of the QTIS 600 Race Series at the Gold Coast on March 20 and will look good over slightly more distance.
Devinardi has now recorded a first, a second and a third from five starts to collect $201,000 in prizemoney.
A short neck separated Devinardi from Jamandtoast (Jim Byrne) who continues to improve for trainer Liam Birchley.
Jamandtoast sat on the shoulder of Buffering for the trip but could not hang onto the classy two-year-old down the straight.
Heathcote has steered his crop of two-year-olds clear of the QTIS 600 Race Series to date, but the Ipswich leg quickly became an ideal diversion from original plans.
“My original plan was to go to the Ken Russell Memorial at the Gold Coast,” Heathcote said.
“I threw the nomination in for Ipswich because of the QTIS 600 Series which is at set-weights, and just as importantly I had a good look at the weather forecast which showed the Gold Coast was in for a bit of a pounding weatherwise.
“The Gold Coast was hit by four inches of rain on Monday night (May 3), so I think we made the right decision.”
Heathcote had a successful Labour Day long weekend adding Tabulate’s Listed Hogs Breath Tails Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday, May 1 to an impressive Ipswich win.
QUEENSLAND Racing web news: Ross Dowd – May 4
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