After his 55th start Oct. 21, seven-time group I winner Buffering has been retired from racing.
The Australian-bred 9-year-old Mossman gelding ran sixth in the Manikato Stakes (Aus-I) Friday, inspiring trainer Robert Heathcote to call for the end of Buffering's racing career.
"It's an overriding sense of relief," Heathcote told Nathan Exelby of the Courier-Mail. "We have come to the end of the journey with a happy, healthy, sound horse. He has done what everyone dreams about and he's done it 10-fold. He took us to the top of Everest so many times. He's been a beautiful horse, not just for the owners, but the fans too."
A 20-time winner, Buffering didn't break through at the top level until his 36th start, in the 2013 Manikato at Moonee Valley. That started a streak of three group I scores to end 2013, including the VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington and the Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (both Aus-I).
He then won back-to-back editions of the Moir Stakes (Aus-I) in 2014-15, took the Crown Perth-Winterbottom again in 2015, and recorded his last victory in this year's Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-I) March 26 at Meydan.
"If I had any doubts about the decision, I woke up (Saturday) with 50 text messages of congratulations, so it was the right thing to do," Heathcote said. "We have public property here and we had to treat him with respect.
"He's been an enormous part of my life. I've been training 19 years. He's only been there seven of them, but it feels like he's been there the whole time."