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Heathcote: Buffering Vulnerable First-Up
Affable Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote is not underestimating the task that confronts star sprinter Buffering in Saturday's Gr2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick, reports horseracing.com.au. Heathcote is cautious about taking on a top quality field of sprinters first-up, especially one that includes top mare Snitzerland who is coming off a brilliant win in the Gr1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington. "It's going to be a big ask taking on the Lightning Stakes winner first-up. I would say we're going to be slightly vulnerable," Heathcote told the Herald Sun. While Heathcote said that Buffering was not fully wound up with his primary autumn target, the Gr1 T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, in four weeks, he is happy with the 6YO's condition leading into Saturday. "Damian Browne rode him (at Eagle Farm) today and said whoever he's up against on Saturday will have to go very fast to lead him," Heathcote said after Tuesday morning track work. "He's going to be improved by Saturday's run. It's just a matter of how he copes with a high pressure race first-up." Buffering, who has drawn ideally in barrier three for the Gr2 sprint, will be having his first start since winning the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in November.