Buffering made claims to being the best sprinter currently in the land with a dominant performance in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
With unbeaten mare Black Caviar injured and out of action until next year, sprinting stocks in Australia suddenly appear a bit bare.
But Buffering showed it can be considered the best sprinter around at least for the time being by cruising to victory in the 1000m event on the opening day of the Caulfield carnival.
It was the first time Buffering had tasted success without leading all of the way, with the five-year-old forced to take an early sit behind pacemaker Malasun.
But it mattered little as jockey Hugh Bowman released the breaks on Buffering at the top of the straight, before the gelding went on to claim a commanding victory.
"We know Black Caviar and Hay List aren't here and my little bulldog has lived in their shadow for some time, but the opportunity is there for him to put his hand up and say 'I am the number one sprinter in the country' until she (Black Caviar) comes back of course," trainer Robert Heathcote said after the race.
Second over the line was the Peter Moody-trained Golden Archer, while the underrated Stirling Grove made ground late along the rail to grab third.
But all the honours were with the winner, who is now set to press on and attempt to win the Group 1 Manikato Stakes under lights at Moonee Valley on October 26.Heathcote hinted that trips to Perth for the summer carnival and overseas to Hong Kong were still options, but said a decision would not be made until after the Manikato.
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