While yet to contest and race in 2014, talented six-year old Buffering is currently favourite in betting markets for success in this weekend’s Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at a quote of $3, sharing the top line of betting with in-form sprinter Snitzerland.
Buffering recorded arguably the best 2013 spring preparation of any Australian runner, following up a competitive second to Samaready in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) first-up with three consecutive Group 1 wins, including the Manikato Stakes (1200m), VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
Trainer Robert Heathcote has been happy with the manner in which the classy Mossman gelding has returned to work this year, and is particularly confident for success this weekend having drawn the ideal barrier 3.
Punters have responded to Snitzerland’s incredible first-up run for maiden Group 1 success in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) on February 15th, cutting the four-year-old from opening odds of $3.40 in to joint leadership at $3.
Having drawn the somewhat wide barrier 8 for the Challenge Stakes this weekend, the classy Snitzel mare will again be partnered by in-form jockey Brenton Avdulla, who has been confirmed for the ride throughout the 2014 autumn, peaking in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 12th.
Only one other runner currently features at odds of less-than $10 in Challenge Stakes betting markets; the being talented Peter Snowden-trained Sessions, who is also yet to contest a competitive race in 2014.
Sessions produced a particularly consistent 2013 spring campaign, claiming the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) ahead of talented runners Aeronautical and Spirit Of Boom, before arguably peaking when third behind Buffering and Lucky Nine in the Manikato Stakes.
Having drawn barrier 7 for the Challenge Stakes this weekend, punters jumped all over opening odds of $7.10 for the exciting Lonhro entire and have registered Sessions as the undoubtable market mover at a current price of $5 and firming.
Despite drawing the wide barrier 10, classy short-distance specialist Bel Sprinter arguably offers punters the best odds for 2014 Challenge Stakes success at a current quote of $13.
While unable to make much of an impact when ninth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield first-up, the Bel Esprit gelding is noted for reaching peak form in high-stakes autumn events and will likely figure in good position in the Challenge Stakes’ dying stages.
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