The Buffering is shaping as a pivotal moment in the summer carnival campaign of Stradbroke winner Tyzone.
A win on Saturday will earn Tyzone a wildcard entry into the Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast on January 16.
A loss will likely see him head to the spelling paddock according to co-trainer Trent Edmonds
“He’s going well but it’s crunch time,” Edmonds said.
“Obviously he needs to win to get a wildcard into Millions day and if he doesn’t then we pull up stumps and probably reassess going towards the Stradbroke again.”
Edmonds was satisfied with Tyzone’s effort to finish a first-up eighth to Soxagon in the Lough Neagh Stakes at Doomben on December 19.
“I was happy with his run. When he poked through behind Outback Barbie he was going to let rip but no sooner did I think that then he petered on his run a bit and his fitness gave way,” he said.
“He went into that first-up run without a trial. We’d done basically the bare minimum with him.”
Edmonds said Tyzone had trained on well since the Lough Neagh and is not overly concerned by drawing barrier 15 in The Buffering.
“He hasn’t drawn well but it’s no concern,” he said.
“We’ll ride him in a similar manner to the Stradbroke, pretty patiently, and he is better outside horses as well.”
Edmonds is more concerned with the 60kg Tyzone will have to shoulder under the set weights and penalties conditions of The Buffering.
“As I keep mentioning with this horse when he’s up in the weights in a race like this it makes it very difficult,” he said.
“He’s only a little tacker and he’s giving the next highest weighted horses two kilos so he’s got his work cut out for him but he’s going particularly well.”
Edmonds is also hoping for a genuine tempo in The Buffering.
“I’d love to see a really good, solid run, 1400m with a good bit of speed on and he’ll be getting home down the middle of the track and letting rip,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of whether or not he can let rip with the 60kg as we saw on Stradbroke day with that light weight.”