Even though Buffering is now an eight-year-old his trainer insists he can still show his younger rivals a thing or two.
Buffering returns for his Moir Stakes defence on Friday night in which two three-year-old fillies head the early market.
Trainer Robert Heathcote says veteran Buffering is showing the right signs as he prepares to make his return from injury having not raced since last year’s Hong Kong International sprint.
Buffering is embarking on his sixth spring carnival and the gelding seems to get an extra spring in his step every time he gets to Melbourne.
“I was down there on the weekend and I hand-walked him myself a couple of times and he’s like a two-year-old,” Brisbane-based Heathcote said.
“If that translates to his on-track performances, then we may well get to continue this wonderful ride he’s taking us on.”
Buffering missed the Brisbane winter carnival when he suffered a ligament injury during trackwork.
Heathcote admits the multiple Group One winner will need to be at his best in the 1000m sprint which is expected to feature three-year-old fillies Petits Filous and Fontiton who will have 51kg compared to Buffering’s 58.5kg.
“It’s just nice to have him back racing after really the first injury he’s suffered in his racing career,” Heathcote said.
“You never really know when they suffer an injury to their leg, are they going to come back? I guess we’ll find out on Friday night if he comes back as well as before the incident.”
Buffering will attempt to become the third eight-year-old this month to win a Group One in Melbourne after Fawkner and Mourinho.
“His work at Flemington last Saturday was as good as I needed to see embarking on another spring carnival,” Heathcote said.
Unbeaten Petits Filous has earned early favouritism with four impressive wins and Heathcote admits the three-year-olds are the horses he fears most.
“The pure speed that this Petits Filous seems to have, but she may be vulnerable to the fact she hasn’t really had a horse breathing down her neck for a solid 1000-metre sprint,” he said.
“That will be our intent – it will be a high-pressure race.”
Joe Pride has three nominations but has confirmed only Ball Of Muscle will line-up, with Terravista and Tiger Tees staying in Sydney for the Premiere Stakes.