A decision about Buffering’s racing future will not be made for several months but trainer Robert Heathcote has not completely ruled out a return to the track.
Buffering was found to be lame in his off fore fetlock and had an internal bleed when he tailed off last in the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Heathcote returned to Brisbane on Tuesday and has kept in contact with Hong Kong vets.
“On Monday I would have said it was 50-50 that Buffering would ever race again,” Heathcote said.
“I personally now hope he will be right to have another campaign.
“But he is an eight-year-old and we would never take any chances with him.
“We will make no decision until he is home and has had a good rest with the sunshine on his back.”
Buffering will remain in Hong Kong until Monday week and then spend two weeks in quarantine in Melbourne before he spells in Queensland.
An attempt at a fourth win in the Group One Moir Stakes in the Melbourne spring or a third Winterbottom Stakes in the Perth summer are possibilities.
“All that is a long way off and the main thing is to get Buffering right. You can’t diminish his win in the Dubai Group One race and really the Sha Tin race was a free kick for us,” Heathcote said.
“It was better to have tried and failed than to have not tried at all. But I hope his defeat doesn’t lessen people’s opinion of him,” Heathcote said.