The Queensland superstar was one of the toughest sprinters to come from Australia. He competed and won all around Australia and he even won in Dubai. He was a modern warhorse that kept giving his connections the thrill of a lifetime.
Trained by Robert Heathcote, Buffering is the highest earning Queensland horse of all time. He often had duels with Black Caviar, and although never beating the champion sprinter, he lost no admirers during his career.
The son of Mossman started his career in fine style, winning his first four starts. His debut win came at Doomben before posting wins at Eagle Farm and Ipswich.
His first start in group company came in the 2010 Group 2 Champagne Classic at Doomben. His unbeaten record stopped at four after he finished third behind Pressday and Spirit of Boom, two quality types in their own right.
He came back as a three-year-old by winning at Eagle Farm before running two group placings. The most impressive was a second placing behind Soul in the Danehill Stakes. His first stakes win came the following start when beating Celts and Hinchinbrook to win the Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick.
Buffering was to start in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes later that month. He finished fourth behind Star Witness, which was a good effort. However, it would spark some frustrating times for connections.
He ran third in the Group 1 BTC Cup behind Black Caviar, seventh in the Doomben 10,000, and then fourth in the Stradbroke Handicap. The following season he ran fourth in the Manikato Stakes, second in the Patinack Farm Classic, third in the Lightning Stakes, second in the Newmarket and then third in the William Reid Stakes.
Buffering couldn’t break his Group 1 duck, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. He would again run second in consecutive Group 1 races, when finishing behind Sea Siren and Mid Summer Music during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
He would run in five more Group 1’s without success, but success finally came during the 2013-2014 season. Buffering was battle hardened and ready to fire in the Manikato Stakes. He won when beating former Hong Kong star, Lucky Nine.
It would spark three consecutive Group 1 wins for Buffering, including wins in the VRC Sprint Classic and Winterbottom Stakes. He then ran third in three consecutive Group 1’s but he lost no admirers with those performances.
His 2014-2015 yielded only four starts, but he kicked off his campaign with a win in the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley. Later that season, Buffering was on a plane to contest the Hong Kong Sprint in December.
The Queenslander finished sixth behind Aerovelocity but that didn’t stop his winning spirit. After a 10-month break, he won the Moir Stakes for a second time fresh up. He added the Winterbottom Stakes later that season before heading to Dubai for the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.
Buffering scored by just under a length over a quality international field before returning to Hong Kong where he failed to beat a runner home in the Chairman’s Sprint.
Injuries became life for Buffering as he got older. He had only two more starts for fair performances, but he was known for his tough presence on the racetrack.
The people behind Buffering
Buffering was purchased for just $22,000 from the 2009 Magic Millions by Robert Heathcote. He was later syndicated to a handful of owners, who enjoyed every bit of his $7.2 million career.
Larry Cassidy was his first rider and primarily used in Queensland, whilst the likes of Hugh Bowman and Nash Rawiller rode in Melbourne and Sydney.
Damian Browne became his fulltime rider after winning the Group 2 Victory Stakes in 2013. From that point on, no other jockey would ride Buffering.
Buffering Achievements and Statistics
Buffering is the highest earning Queensland racehorse of all time with $7.2 million. He is yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but it’s only a matter of time.
He was one of only a few Australian sprinters to win in multiple countries (Australia, Dubai).
Race record: 19 wins from 51 starts
Career earnings: $7,238,955
Group 1 wins: 7
Breeding: Mossman x. Action Annie
Trainer: Robert Heathcote
Jockey: Damian Browne
Owners: V Heathcote, S Krslovic, C Moore, R Ciobo, D Merola, C Lord, Crafty Racing Synd, Aspariamo Racing Synd & B Harry
Years active: 2010-2016