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Browne left to plot tactics for Buffering
Stephen Rodgers
21:31 AEST Fri May 24 2013

Jockey Damian Browne will be given a free rein by trainer Robert Heathcote to devise a strategy to overcome Buffering's wide barrier in the Doomben 10,000.

Buffering has drifted from $4.80 to $5.50 in betting on the 10,000 after drawing barrier 12 in the 15-horse field.

Only five horses have won the 10,000 from double figure barriers in the past 30 years with Mr Innocent in 2000 the last to achieve that feat.

Heathcote will discuss riding options with Browne but is happy to let him formulate his own tactics.

"The 1350-metre start allows the jockeys a good 400-metre run to the first turn and Damian will be able to sum things up after they go a few strides," Heathcote said.

Buffering doesn't have to lead to win the Doomben 10,000, according to Heathcote.

"It's not essential that he has to lead as we saw in the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield during the spring carnival," he said.

"We took a trail that day behind a speedy one, peeled around it and won the race nicely."

The five-year-old's effort to finish fourth to Your Song in the BTC Cup has been defended by Heathcote.

"It was one of those days when nothing went right for us," he said.

"He was moving back when the gates opened which meant his momentum was going in the wrong direction.

"His wheels were spinning for the first part of the race and he never got into that lovely rhythm for which he's renowned."

Heathcote is confident the gelding can bounce back with a win in the 10,000.

"Circumstances were against us in the BTC Cup but I'm confident we'll see him rocking and rolling again and I'm more than happy to have a rematch in the 10,000," he said.

"We'll see the real Buffering stand up on Saturday. I'm convinced of that."

While Buffering has won seven times at 1200 metres, he has started four times beyond that distance with his best results being a second in last year's 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap.

"He got beaten a neck in this race last year coming off a month between runs due to a setback then he sat three deep in the Stradbroke and still had the guts to run second with 58 (kilograms) on his back," he said.

"I don't think there's an issue with the 1350 metres."


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