Buffering set for Group One win: Browne
Stephen Rodgers
16:39 AEST Wed May 8 2013

Damian Browne knows better than most that Group One races aren't decided by a popularity contest.

If they were, Buffering would already be a Group One winner instead of chasing his first success at the elite level in Saturday's BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm.

"They don't hand out Group Ones to horses because they deserve them, they've got to earn them," he said.

"There's no doubt he's a Group One horse. You've only got to look at the horses that have beaten him like the great mare (Black Caviar) and Hay List."

Browne is adamant Buffering is in the right shape to win the BTC Cup after his dominant first-up win in the Victory Stakes at Doomben.

"He ran exceptional time, his second-up record is just as good and he's going into the race as well as he could be," he said.

Buffering has drawn barrier seven in the 11-horse field while arch-rival Rain Affair has fared much better in gate two.

"I would've preferred it to be the other way around because it would've given me the choice of either holding the front or handing up to Rain Affair," Browne said.

"It's probably not a major issue but it's never great going into these races and having only one option."

Browne expects Rain Affair to pour the pressure on from the outset but will wait until he speaks to trainer Robert Heathcote before settling on a definitive riding strategy.

"Rain Affair will go quick, that's his nature, and I'm pretty sure Buffering will be able to settle on his outside without using up too much energy," he said.

Buffering had his final fast workout on the course proper at Doomben on Tuesday morning when he was ridden by Browne and accompanied by his stablemate Bribie.

"He wasn't out there to break any records but he felt terrific and worked well," he said.

"He only had to do a bit of work to tick him over."

The gelding is one of Browne's favourite horses, although he reserves a soft spot for Woorim whom he rode to victory in last year's Oakleigh Plate.

"Woorim's always got a special place in my heart, not just for the races he won, but for the way he won them coming from what looked like impossible positions," he said.

"But Buffering's certainly right up there and what I love about him is his guts. If every horse tried like him it would make life a lot easier."

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