Buffering to miss San Domenico Stakes

Wet tracks in Sydney have forced trainer Rob Heathcote to abandon Buffering’s planned comeback in the Group Three San Domenico Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

Buffering will instead stay home to run in a 1000-metre QTIS three-year-old race at Eagle Farm on Wednesday week before heading interstate for the Group Three Up And Coming Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on August 21.

Heathcote said his decision not to contest the 1000-metre feature with Buffering stemmed from discussions with Australian Jockey Club racing manager Colin Tuck.

“The tracks in Sydney have been very wet and he told me he expected a slow track at best for this weekend,” Heathcote said.


“The forecast in Sydney is for showers on Thursday and Friday and I don’t want to flatten Buffering first-up on a wet track.

“It’s the strongest San Domenico there’s been for a few years. It’s a red-hot field so I’ve decided to run him at Eagle Farm the following Wednesday.

“The San Domenico is worth $75,000 to the winner and he can stay home and run for $53,000 at Eagle Farm.

“It’s a much easier race for him first-up at home and it makes more sense to stay here.”

Sydney’s wets tracks have already forced Gold Coast trainer Gillian Heinrich to head straight to Melbourne for the spring with Magic Millions winner Military Rose.

Military Rose was being aimed at the Group One Golden Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on August 28 but will now have a barrier trial next week before heading straight to Melbourne.

Heathcote, Brisbane’s premier trainer, hasn’t ruled out sending Buffering to Melbourne following the gelding’s Sydney assignments.

“There’s plenty of races for him in Sydney including the Heritage Stakes but if his form warrants he could go on to Melbourne,” he said.

“Ultimately his mission there would be the Coolmore.”

The Listed Heritage Stakes (1200m) is at Rosehill next month while the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes is at Flemington on October 30.

Heathcote had engaged Danny Nikolic to ride Buffering in the San Domenico but regular rider Larry Cassidy will now be given first refusal for the Up And Coming Stakes.

“I think Larry will be back from his holiday for the Up And Coming Stakes so he’ll be offered the ride if he’s available,” Heathcote said.

Buffering’s absence from the San Domenico leaves Toowoomba sprinter Spirit Of Boom as Queensland’s sole representative.

Queensland-trained horses have a great record with five wins from the past 12 San Domenico Stakes.

The last Queenslander to win the San Domenico Stakes was Gold Edition in 2006.

Previous winners included Regimental Gal (2003), Star Of Florida (2002), Zariz (2000) and General Nediym in 1997.

Buffering has won four of his five starts with his only defeat when third to Pressday in the Group Two Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben in May.

The son of Mossman brilliantly won a barrier trial over 900 metres by more than seven lengths at Doomben last month.