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By Graham Potter | Monday, March 29, 2010

Doomben, March 27, 2010.
Track - Good 3. Rail - Out 4.5m.
QTIS 2yo Handicap - 1110m. Time: 1-04.38. (Carrying 55kg).
1 Buffering; 2 Cavaliered; 3 Moment By Moment.

Trainer Robert Heathcote continues to roll out a steady stream of winners and he kept the scoreboard moving when Buffering landed a solid enough debut win in the lucrative QTIS 2yo Handicap.

Even more pleasing for the stable was the fact that Buffering’s stable-mate Cavaliered finished second after pressing Buffering all the way to the line.

These two Heathcote trained runners basically had the race within their keeping from pillar to post. Jockey Larry Cassidy took Buffering to an immediate lead while jockey Glen Colless settled Cavaliered in a close-up third placing. Separating the two was Eureka Dubai, who sat just outside the front-runner as the leading trio held station until the turn.

On straightening Cassidy set sail for home on Buffering with Eureka Dubai in hot pursuit and Cavaliered also holding his ground in the chase.

At the 200m mark, the inexperienced Buffering moved out off a straight line and continued to shift ground towards Cavaliered who was now closing ground on the outside of Buffering.

Back on the inside Eureka Dubai’s run peaked with150m left to run and that left Buffering and Cavaliered to fight out the finish over the final 120m where Buffering stayed on strongly to keep his stable companion at bay by 0.80 lengths.

Moment By Moment and Big Chance where doing their best work at the line and they were rewarded with third and fourth place respectively.

Jockeys Glen Colless (Cavaliered) and Damian Browne (Big Chance) both viewed the race film before correct weight was posted to see if they had grounds for a protest ... Colless against the winner (Buffering) and Browne against the third placed Moment By Moment. Both declined to take any further action.

Trainer Robert Heathcote: “It’s nice when you see your two horses (Buffering and Cavaliered) fighting out the finish.

“I actually had Buffering ready to race about probably six weeks ago. He got a ... if you have a look at him ... he’s got a little chunk out of his foot where he got a bad stone bruise. They had to wait for that to break out.

“He’s showed me all along he is a nice horse. He’s proved it today. I don’t know if they’ve run any time, but I expected a nice run from him and I got it.

“It was a lovely ride by Larry (Cassidy). Doesn’t it really emphasise the value of good barriers. There’s me leading on the fence and getting a trail with the other one. Thank you very much to the racing Gods for barriers one and two. That was a very pleasant change.

“We paid $22000 for him. We got him for me at the QTIS 600 sale last year and it was money well spent.

“He’s a nice horse and there’s probably a nice race for him in the carnival.

“He only had the one trial on a wet track. He won that. He was just a little bit green. This was his first race and that’s why he ran round a little bit in the closing stages.

“Going into the race I had Cavalier just slightly in front of Buffering because of the likely run he was going to get (from gate one) and the experience (Cavaliered already had one race under his belt while Buffering was on debut).

“Cavaliered ran a good enough race. As Glen (Colless) rightly said afterwards he (Cavaliered) was a little intimidated by Buffering running out, but no contact ... the margin ... I don’t know if I could have argued against myself if there was a protest.”

Jockey Larry Cassidy: “Even though he sort of travelled easy in front he sort of did things wrong throughout the race.

“Like he got on the wrong leg ... he sort of ran a very nervous race the first part of it. I think that’s what it was ... more nerves than anything ... and he sort of wanted to get out. In the early stages he changed legs a dozen times before we’d gone bloody three furlongs.

“He is a promising horse ... he certainly found plenty when I did ask him ... and he certainly has a future.”

Winner (Buffering): 4.40 in to 4.20 out to 4.40.
The winner was the favourite.

The start of this race was delayed when Phantomoftheopera had to be resaddled.

Correct weight was delayed to allow G. Colless, rider of the second placegetter, Cavaliered, to view the film to ascertain if grounds to lodge a protest against Buffering (L. Cassidy) being declared the winner. D. Brown, rider of the 4th placegetter, Big Chance, also exercised his right to view the film to ascertain if he had grounds to lodge a protest against Moment By Moment (B. Stewart) being declared 3rd. After viewing the films, both riders did not wish to proceed and lodge a protest and subsequently correct weight was subsequently declared on the Judge's placings.

Huff And Puff (O. Turpin) blundered at the start.

If It Can It Will (J. Byrne) was tightened for room on jumping away between Phantomoftheopera (M. Cahill) and Moment By Moment (B. Stewart), both of which shifted ground.

Big Chance (D. Browne) jumped awkwardly and missed the start.

Near the 850m, Huff And Puff commenced to pull hard when the pace slowed and after being steadied shifted out across the heels of Eureka Dubai (R. Wiggins) and had to be checked. At the same time as the pace slowed, B. Stewart, rider of Moment By Moment, which was trailing Huff And Puff, shifted in towards the rails when not fully clear of Phantomoftheopera, which had to be checked. B. Stewart was cautioned and advised to exercise greater care in future.

Buffering shifted ground abruptly over the concluding stages of the race. Trainer R. Heathcote indicated that he would experiment with blinkers before the horse's next race start. A warning was issued to the connections of Buffering.

Huff And Puff, which raced three wide in the middle stages, was under pressure before the home turn and did not finish the race off as expected. A post-race veterinary examination of Huff And Puff revealed the horse to be sore in the near-hindleg. Trainer D. Lawlor advised stewards that Huff And Puff would now be sent for a spell.

Moment By Moment was inclined to shift ground over the concluding stages.

When questioned regarding the performance of If It Can It Will, J. Byrne stated that whilst he was not entirely disappointed with the horse's run, it did race greenly and was somewhat field shy in the early stages, however he felt the horse was making ground over the latter stages of the race. He added that with the experience from today's run, the horse would benefit and would be better suited over a longer journey. A post-race veterinary examination of If It Can It Will failed to reveal any significant abnormalities.

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