Robert Heathcote’s star sprinter Buffering edged out several Group 1 winners to claim Queensland Horse of the Year honours for the 2011/12 racing season.
The exciting gelding beat his Oakleigh Plate-winning stablemate Woorim, Galaxy winner Temple Of Boom and winter carnival stars Pear Tart and Sizzling to Queensland’s major gong.
Buffering, rated as one of the best sprinters in the country, is still yet to claim Group 1 success but had a stellar season that included multiple Group 1 placings behind Black Caviar and Hay List.
The son of Mossman’s highlight win came in the Group 3 McEwen Stakes but he also finished runner-up to Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm Classic, third to the champion mare and Hay List in the Lightning Stakes and a narrow second to Hay List in the Newmarket Handicap.
He appeared set to shine at the Brisbane winter carnival before suffering a stone bruise injury on the eve of the BTC Cup but still managed to finish runner-up in both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap.
With both Black Caviar and Hay List out of the spring carnival, the five-year-old gets the chance to stamp his authority on the some of the nation’s biggest sprints and will have a three-race campaign including the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m), Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and the Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).
Heathcote scored Trainer of the Year honours while record-breaking rider Chris Munce was named Jockey of the Year.