Super Sprint Showdown At The Valley

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Lankan Rupee is one of the favourites for the Manikato Stakes. Image courtesy of:

Twelve months ago, Buffering  held off Lucky Nine and Sessions to finally break his Group 1 duck in the Manikato Stakes. It was a masterly ride by Damian Browne, who is again on board the seven-year-old gelding.

Prior to that, Robert Heathcote's favourite horse had finished in the placings nine times from 16 goes at Group 1 level, and most thought the son of Mossman was destined never to win at the elite level after chasing home the likes of Black Caviar and Hay List. But with the drought broken, Buffering went on to success in the Group 1 VRC Sprint at Flemington and the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (Ascot in Perth) at his next two outings. 

The winner of 16 races and $4.6m in prize money is now under threat from the next generation of sprinters headed by Lankan Rupee  and Terravista . To his credit, Buffering beat Lankan Rupee (rated the best sprinter in the world) fair and square last start in the Group 1 Moir Stakes at the track and distance. 'Buff' loves the Valley, having won four races and been in the placings on two other occasions from eight starts there. He's missed the place just once from seven goes second up (7:3-1-2), which he is on Friday night.

As far as Lankan Rupee is concerned, Moonee Valley isn't his preferred course, losing his latest two outings there as an odds-on favourite. Plus Mick Price's champ has drawn wide in barrier 9 of 12. 

While these two elite sprinters are battle-hardened at this level, there is a new kid on the block. Sydney raider Terravista will have just his second run at Group 1 after two impressive victories in the Group 3 Show County and the Group 2 The Shorts back home. The Joe Pride trained five-year-old has won 8 of his 11 starts and been out of the money on just two occasions. One of those unplaced runs was in the Group 1 George Ryder over 1500m in March. However, at 1200m the Captain Rio gelding is three from three. If Hugh Bowman can slot Terravista just off the speed, he has a motor big enough to win this.

The other strong finisher is Rebel Dane  who has been threatening to win a big race for quite some time. Follow the link for the Best Free Horse Racing Tips in Australia.

Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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