Buffering Shocks Lankan Rupee in Moir Stakes

Gelding made all at Moonee Valley and narrowly denied world's top-rated sprinter.

Buffering was too strong for Lankan Rupee, the world's top-rated sprinter, Sept. 23 as he led nearly every step at Moonee Valley and denied that opponent victory by a short head in the City Jeep Moir Stakes (Aus-I). 

Lankan Rupee, the heavy favorite, rocketed from the gate with Craig Newitt and led for only a couple of strides before Buffering blew past with Damian Browne to take control and lead throughout. Lankan Rupee chased Buffering from no more than a 1 1/2 lengths back and took closer order on the home turn, drawing to within a neck, but he could not overtake the winner.

Rebel Dane was up for third, a short head behind Lankan Rupee, after racing in last place entering the stretch and gamely driving between rivals to finish on nearly even terms with the runner-up.

The loss was the second straight for Lankan Rupee. The 5-year-old Redoute's Choice gelding saw a six-race win streak that included three group I wins snapped last time out in a group II race Sept. 6 at Moonee Valley.

Buffering covered 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) in 1:10.91 on a dead track, winning his fourth group I race, including the 2012 edition of the Moir. 

"He tried his heart out. That's all you can ask," Browne said of Buffering, the second-choice in the compact field of five.

Trained by Robert Heathcote for a large partnership, the 7-year-old Mossman gelding has a 16-9-8 career line from 43 starts. His record also includes group I wins in the 2013 Manikato Stakes and VRC Sprint Classic and the 2012 Winterbottom Stakes as well as five other group wins. 

Buffering will be aimed for this year's Manikato, to be run Oct. 24 at Moonee Valley, where Lankan Rupee also will likely start.

The winning Anabaa mare Action Annie is the dam of Buffering, who was bred in Australia by Racetree.