It’s great to be able to refer to Buffering as a triple G1 winner. He’ll line up for start number thirty-nine in the G2 Challenge Stakes this Saturday where is main danger comes in the form of another who had to wait longer than expected for her moment in the sun. Snitzerland recorded her maiden G1 win four weeks ago in the Lightning Stakes and shades Buffering in the betting at $2.70 compared to $3.30. The only other runner in the field under double figures is Darley’s Sessions at $5.50.
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1. BUFFERING – D Browne (3)
It took the Queensland Champ thirty-five starts, but he finally landed a much deserved G1 last spring when claiming the Manikato Stakes (1200m) by a nose over Lucky Nine with Sessions third. He made the wait even more rewarding by adding another two G1 wins at his following starts, the VRC Sprint and Western Australia’s Winterbottom Stakes where he defeated Shamexpress and Moment of Change respectively. The 6yo doesn’t run a bad race and with two trials under his belt in readiness for his return to racing, Rob Heathcote will have him ready to go.
2. BEL SPRINTER – C Newitt (10)
Jason Warren’s 6yo resumed from a sixteen week spell by running ninth (4.2 lengths) in the Oakleigh Plate behind Lankan Rupee three weeks ago. It was the fourth consecutive run he has missed a place since returning from Singapore last May. The upside is his last visit to Sydney resulted in a phenomenal win in the G1 Galaxy Stakes followed by a third to Black Caviar and Epaulette in the G1 T. J. Smith Stakes. He’ll have the pace on that he’ll required and at his best, would be rocketing home.
3. FAMOUS SEAMUS – T Clark (6)
Noel Mayfield-Smith’s galloper covered a fair bit of territory at the back of end of last year. In October he won the Listed Lightning Stakes at Randwick carrying 59kgs, then ventured south to Victoria a month later to run third behind Lucky Hussler in the G3 Kevin Heffernan before travelling to Queensland in December, where he ran a close-up fifth in the G3 George Moore Stakes. The 6yo will be having his first start since the Queensland run and has been readied for the return with a quiet Warwick Farm barrier trial a fortnight ago. First up record doesn’t read as well as his second up stats do and would think he’d find a few at this level, too hard to catch.
4. SESSIONS – K McEvoy (7)
The Darley 4yo narrowly claimed the G2 The Shorts over Aeronautical and Spirit of Boom before venturing south and finishing a close up fourth (1.1 lengths) in the G2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m). The son of Lonhro finished closer again, a long neck third, at his following start, the G1 Manikato Stakes behind Buffering before failing in the G1 VRC Spring and being spelled. Really came into his own last preparation and showed he was capable of mixing it with the best. Darley would have been able to prepare him with these good races firmly on the agenda this preparation and expect a bold showing first up.
5. TEMPLE OF BOOM – H Bowman (9)
The older brother to Spirit Of Boom, this 7yo hasn’t been seen at the races since running fifth (4.4 lengths) in the VRC Sprint behind Buffering in the spring. It’s closing in on two years now since his last win, the G1 The Galaxy (1100m) in April 2012, with the closest he has come to breaking the drought, being in G3 races such as Aurie Star and Bobbie Lewis where he finished second in both. The son of Sequalo hasn’t had a public trial in the lead up to this race but that’s his normal preparation. He’s picked a tough event to resume in and given it’s been a while since he won and longer still since he has won fresh, would be looking to others.
6. TIGER TEES – N Rawiller (1)
He showed his customary good fight when hanging on to win the Listed Falvelon Quality at Eagle Farm three weeks ago. Joe Pride’s sprinter had two solid trials before that run, his first for twenty weeks and had to carry 59.5kgs, so expect him to be wound up and ready to go here. He wasn’t at his best last year and was disappointing in each of his five runs but a good spell over the summer, seems to have him back closer to the form that saw him run third to Fontelina in the G2 Yellowglen Stakes in 2012.
7. SNITZERLAND – B Avdulla (8)
Gerald Ryan’s mare deservingly won the G1 Lightning Stakes four weeks ago when resuming from a spell. She led throughout and beat Shamexpress and Samaready by a half length on the line. Surprisingly, this will be her first look at Randwick and the only time she has competed against Buffering in the past, she unfortunately submitted the worse performance of her career, running near last in the Moir Stakes. Her record over this trip and when second up, is near faultless.
8. SATIN SHOES – B Shinn (2)
The 5yo mare registered her first win since October 2011, when successful in the Listed Scone Ortensia Stakes last May. Trainer Clarry Conners has only produced the daughter of Flying Spur once since that victory, which was an unplaced effort in the Listed Lightning Stakes at Eagle Farm back in June. She’s been given a lengthy spell and judging by her two recent barrier trial wins in the past month, is ready to come back in good order. She’s a speedy mare that, given the right run in the race, could be capable of filling a place.
9. WHITTINGTON – T Berry (4)
Gai Waterhouse spelled her son of Tale Of The Cat after a courageous third (long neck) to Barbed in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) back in September. He returned to racing on the Gold Coast and claimed the Magic Millions Sprint by a neck over Emmalene and Steel Zip back in January of this year. He has been kept up to the mark since with a winning barrier trial two and half weeks ago but faces his toughest test to date. He’ll give his all but against a couple of proven top-liner gallopers, will come up short.
10. VILLA VERDE – J McDonald (5)
The 3yo filly by Not A Single Doubt will step out for the first time for her new Trainer Anthony Cummings after having been transferred from Sean Dwyer. She won the first two starts of her career, both at Stakes level, but hasn’t been able to crack it for the elusive third win yet despite running fourth in G1 company behind Zoustar last spring. She had a relative quiet time of it in a recent trail where she finished third in a field of five and will be able to track the speed from her draw but on her past efforts, hard to see her running Buffering or Snitzerland down.
Snitzerland has drawn wide here in eight and with Buffering coming from gate three, doubt she’ll cross him without having to burning too much speed. She’ll have to sit with him and tough it out but there’s none better in the business playing that game than Buffering. They clearly appear to be the top two picks with Sessions and for a bit of value, Satin Shoes might run a cheeky race first up from her good draw.
- SATIN SHOES