Buffering needs to do something he has never done before if he is to claim an historic fourth Moir Stakes victory.
The Queensland star’s rivals in Friday night’s 1000m Group One sprint include the world’s highest-ranked sprinter – Chautauqua – who Buffering has been unable to beat home in their four previous clashes.
Chautauqua won last year’s Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley in which Buffering was a game fifth, while in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong this year Chautauqua stormed home from last to win while Buffering faded to finish last and pulled up with excuses.
Their only other clashes were in the past two Darley Classics in which Chautauqua has finished a close second while Buffering has finished fourth.
Chautauqua is the $2.25 favourite to win his sixth Group One race while the evergreen Buffering sits on the third line of betting at $6 with three-year-old Extreme Choice splitting the two established stars in the market at $4.60.
Nine-year-old Buffering arrived in Melbourne this week ready for battle again.
“He’s back at Moonee Valley where he always races well and we know he’s tough,” his trainer Robert Heathcote said.
Chautauqua has tuned up for his highly anticipated return with wins in jump-outs at Flemington the past two Fridays.
He is unbeaten in two Moonee Valley starts – the 2015 McEwen Stakes and Manikato Stakes.
The race could set up well for Chautauqua, who possesses a breathtaking finishing from back in the field, given there are a number of noted speedsters in the race.
Buffering loves to lead but could have competition for that position in the Moir, especially from Redzel who has led all the way to win the July Sprint in Sydney and Group Three The Heath at Caulfield at his past two starts.
“That’s what my bloke does, he jumps and runs and I won’t take that away from him on Friday night,” co-trainer Peter Snowden said.
“I know Buffering is there, and Extreme Choice. But we’ll be riding our race, and we’ll be rolling.”
Snowden said Redzel’s last-start win at Caulfield convinced him to give the gelding his chance in the Moir.
“You’d probably say he’s outclassed, but if you look at the times he’s running and the way he’s winning, he’s definitely worth a crack at it,” he said.