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Buffering Wins Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint
At Meydan racecourse in Dubai, Gr1-winning & 4-time Gr1-placed Vinery Stud stallion Mossman (Success Express-Lichen Lady, by Twig Moss) celebrated an elite success when 8YO gelding Buffering (Mossman-Action Annie, by Anabaa) scored by 0.75-length for trainer Robert Heathcote in the US$1 million Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) for 3YO+, over 5YO Irish-bred geldings Ertijaal (Oasis Dream-Shabiba, by Seeking the Gold) & Peniaphobia (Dandy Man-Umlani, by Great Commotion). It's been a remarkable career for Buffering who was purchased for trainer Robert Heathcote by his good friend, leading New Zealand based bloodstock agent Paul Willetts for $22,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale. "I know how tough this horse is. He's not necessarily the fastest horse in the world by gee he's tough and he showed that tonight," a proud Heathcote told reporters after the race. "It took him 18 goes to win a Group One and now he's won seven of his last 13 attempts and he's travelled the other side of the world and taken on arguably the best the world has to offer at the moment on the biggest stage." He added: "I'm just so damn proud to be here representing Australia. We'll go to Hong Kong and I believe Nick Smith from Ascot is here and after Hong Kong we were going to go home but gee I'd love to shake hands with the Queen." Damian Browne has been the regular rider of Buffering and he was one of the proudest men on track. "We have a beautiful run throughout," Browne noted. "We began well and I knew from the 300 he was going to give a good kick and he was able to hold them off." He added: "We're proud to be here representing Australia - this old horse has been such a champion for us. To come over here and get the money is just so great." Buffering is a great flagbearer for the Queensland breeding industry having been bred at Racetree by Kevin Dixon and sold on the Gold Coast. In running a career-best of 56.34 on Saturday night, Buffering boosted his already remarkable record to 19 wins (including the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes - twice, Gr1 Moir Stakes, Gr1 VRC Sprint Classic, Gr1 Manikato Stakes, Gr2 BRC Victory Stakes, Gr2 Schillaci Stakes, Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes & Gr3 Ian McEwen Stakes) & 17 placings (including the Gr1 BTC Cup, Gr1 AJ Moir Stakes, Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap - twice, Gr1 Doomben 10,000 - thrice, Gr1 William Reid, Gr1 Newmarket, Gr1 Lightning T.J. Smith Stakes & Gr1 Patinack Classic) from 52 starts for approximately $7 million in earnings. Buffering will now head to Hong Kong for the Gr1 Chairman's Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on 1 May.