Champion sprinter Buffering won his third G1 Moir Stakes (1000m) amid wild celebrations at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Sidelined with a ligament injury since last December, the effervescent veteran gave his younger rivals a galloping lesson with a front-running victory over Ball Of Muscle and Angelic Light.
Buffering returned to a standing ovation from a large public-holiday crowd in Melbourne. “He’s awesome,” trainer Robert Heathcote declared. “This is his sixth spring carnival – it’s been a dream ride.”
The Queenslander led local fillies Fontiton and Petits Filous and then kicked clear off the corner to complete a Moir treble following wins in 2012 and 2014. He was also runner-up to More Than Ready mare Samaready in 2013.
“He’s an extraordinary racehorse,” Heathcote continued. “He raced against Black Caviar and Hay List and here he is – an eight year-old – still lining up and winning a Group 1. He did it at both ends and was just too tough. He worked hard and was strong at the finish against a quality field of sprinters.”
Buffering cost $22,000 as a yearling and Friday’s victory saw the son of Vinery stallion Mossman pass the $5 million milestone in earnings. “He knows what to do and is a real trooper,” jockey Damien Browne said. “He’s a true champion. The toughest horse I have ever ridden.”
Vinery stallions combined for a hat-trick at Moonee Valley on Friday.
Casino Prince stayer Escado scored a longshot win in the G3 JRA Cup (2040m) and trainer Matt Laurie will set him for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Escado was a Group 1 winner of the 2013 South Australian Derby for part-owner and breeder John Ferguson of Kineld Thoroughbreds in Balnarring. He’s an older half-brother to G2 VRC Edward Manifold Stakes winner Se Sauver (Bel Esprit).
Earlier in the evening, Testa Rossa flyer Reldas was a first-up winner of the Jeep 55 Second Challenge (955m) for trainer Robert Smerdon. A two-time winner over 1200m at Moonee Valley last season, he came from the back half of the field to clock a quick 55.05s in Heat 2 of the Night Series Challenge.
Mossman stands for a $27,500 (inc gst) fee at Vinery and he remains a popular choice for breeders like John Cornish of Torryburn Stud. “I really like Mossman. He’s a war horse and is in the peak of his career,” Cornish told ANZ Bloodstock this week. “He was ill in his early breeding days and perhaps we haven’t seen his full potential.”