Buffering Wins 2011 McEwen Stakes At Moonee Valley

September 11th, 2011

Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote has had a brilliant beginning to his Melbourne Spring campaign with stable star Buffering winning the Group 3 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley last Saturday September 10, 2011.

The four-year-old Mossman gelding just held on to claim the win ahead of Crystal Lily and Atomic Force, who flashed home down the outside to finish third by a nose.

“It is an enormous thrill,” Heathcote said.

“It is probably my biggest thrill in Melbourne.

“Even though I had him here last year and he ran some nice races it is our first win down here and it is great for the Queenslanders.

“We are excited, he was a little $20,000 horse and he is getting up around the $1million (prizemoney) now so he has been a lot of fun for us.”

Buffering was ridden by Queensland jockey Damian Browne in the 1,000 metre event.

“I have had a lot of luck with Rob (Heathcote) so I am thankful for him to support me and bring me down here today,” Browne said.

“I think it has been about 15 years since I last rode here so to come down and get the money is fantastic.

“He is a really honest type. He is probably not as quick early in the race as he used to be and I had to use him to get him across. He really found the line.

“He will take some improvement out of the race and from here it will be onwards and upwards.”

Buffering will now go to the $500,000 Manikato Stakes on September 30, where Heathcote will be hoping he can finally secure his first Group 1 victory.

“Obviously it is going to be a hugely different class but this horse deserves his turn up against those good horses,” Browne said.

“Whether he can beat them or not is another thing obviously but he deserves a crack at them.

“He gives 100% all of the time and you know what you’re going to get.”

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2011 McEwen Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 3 BUFFERING Robert Heathcote Damian Browne 8 58.5kg $8.50
2 7 CRYSTAL LILY Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra Craig Williams 0.1L 7 56.5kg $3.40
3 2 ATOMIC FORCE Darren Smith Damien Oliver 0.2L 9 58.5kg $7.50
4 8 KULGRINDA Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 1.45L 1 56.5kg $3F
5 4 FIRST COMMAND Anthony Freedman Nicholas Hall 1.55L 4 58.5kg $15
6 1 HAPPY ZERO Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Dwayne Dunn 1.75L 6 58.5kg $14
7 6 SHRAPNEL Mark Kavanagh Michael Rodd 4.75L 3 58.5kg $16
8 9 SATIN SHOES Clarry Conners Ms Lisa Cropp 4.95L 2 50kg $16
9 5 ZEDI KNIGHT Brendan McCarthy Danny Nikolic 8.7L 5 58.5kg $101