Queensland hero Buffering did all Australia proud with a decisive victory in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) in Dubai on Saturday night.
The champion son of Vinery sire Mossman was the first Aussie horse to take part at the Dubai World Cup meeting for four years and he responded to defeat local favourite Ertijaal by three-quarters of a length.
Top-class mare Ortensia won the Al Quoz Sprint for Australia and Vinery sire Testa Rossa in 2012.
Buffering tracked G1 Hong Kong Sprint winner Peniaphobia down the straight course at Meydan before asserting his authority in a super-quick 56.34s. “I knew he would be hard to beat once I saw Damian (Browne) sitting motionless halfway up the straight,” trainer Robbie Heathcote said. “He has beaten some brilliant horses tidily in the end.
“It took him 18 attempts to win a Group 1 and now he has won 7 of them in his last 13 tries. He’s such a popular horse back home. I think it is part of our Aussie psyche as he was an underdog for so long. He has raced against the likes of Black Caviar, Hay List and Sepoy but now he has shown that he’s a pretty special, too.
“He has taken on the best in the world here tonight. He’s run a career-best time and he’s done it at the age of eight.”
Jockey Browne has been Buffering’s partner for all of his major wins and shook his head in admiration on returned to scale. “He’s such a warrior and is getting better with age,” Browne remarked. “He jumped well and I knew he would be strong at the finish.”
Buffering continues on his travels to Hong Kong for the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize on May 1 and Heathcote also flagged a possible trip to England. “I’m just damn proud of him and we will think about going to Royal Ascot. The King’s Stand Stakes looks the likeliest option at this stage.”
Vinery sires came close to a winning treble at the Dubai World Cup meeting. Myboycharlie mare Euro Charline was runner-up in the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) and Congrats filly Polar River was second in the G2 UAE Derby.
Earlier on Saturday, More Than Ready mare Happy Hannah earned a Group 1 placing at her stakes debut in the G1 Vinery Stakes at Rosehill.