Buffering a lucky omen for Heathcote

Trainer Robert Heathcote is hoping a guest appearance by his champion Buffering at Eagle Farm is an omen to change his luck in his nemesis race, the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m).

Buffering has been resting at his co-owner Bruce Harry’s rural property after spending a couple of months at Victoria’s Living Legends complex since his retirement in October.

The seven-time Group One winner will make a visit to Eagle Farm on Saturday to coincide with the running of the inaugural Buffering Quality.

Heathcote has been to see Buffering a couple of times lately and says the gelding is blooming.

“He will be at Eagle Farm on Saturday and that will give his fans a chance to say goodbye,” Heathcote said.

He is hoping it might bring him some luck in the Bernborough Handicap, a race in which he has been frustrated several times in recent years.

“It hasn’t been a kind race to me. Lordag ran second in it last year and Fillydelphia was also second in it a few times,” Heathcote said.

“I ve had a few others who were unlucky in it.”

Lordag will be joined by top miler Hopfgarten as Heathcote’s runners in the Bernborough.

“I thought Hopgarten’s last start fifth in the Sydney Villiers was a great effort. He was three-deep the whole way in the breeze with no cover,” Heathcote said.

“But it is a case of back to Brisbane and back up in the weights to 59 kilograms. The last time we met Cylinder Beach he beat us by two lengths and we still have to give him 4.5 kilos.

“I doubt we can beat Cylinder Beach on Saturday but one thing you know Hopfgarten will give it 100 per cent.”

Heathcote said Lordag had been running on in his races without winning but would appreciate a drop to 54kg on Saturday.

The Brisbane Race Club is hoping for their biggest crowd since the winter carnival on Saturday boosted by the presence of Buffering.

BRC Chairman Neville Bell said the club had put lot into promoting the meeting.

“It is the first New Year’s Eve meeting at Eagle Farm in decades. We have two $500,000 bonus payments up for grabs and we have basically eight feature races,” he said.

“Buffering will be here and there is a stack of other entertainment for punters before they head off elsewhere for the night.”

“There is no doubt we have the best meeting in Australia on Saturday.”

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