By Craig Brennan
Trainer Mike Moroney is confident Buffalo River can bounce back into form and depart the Queensland winter carnival on a winning note.
Buffalo River is Moroney’s only metropolitan runner on Saturday when he lines up in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap over 1400 metres at the Sunshine Coast.
The US-bred galloper will be having his fourth start for the campaign and third in Queensland this time in when he ventures to the northern track for the first time.
After running second first-up at Sandown in April, Buffalo River was transported to Brisbane where he finished sixth to Soxagon in the Group 3 BRC Sprint at Eagle Farm on May 28 before finishing second last in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Moroney explained Buffalo River’s chances evaporated at the start.
“He got a pretty torrid run in the Stradbroke,” Moroney said.
“He missed the kick badly and got squeezed out of it and he ended up getting back and had to come around them pretty wide, so it didn’t set up too good for him.
“We’re hoping he’ll put himself into the race like he normally does on Saturday.
“He’s training well, he looks great, so everything is good with him.”
Buffalo River has drawn out in gate 13 on Saturday, but he has the pace to take up a forward position as is his custom.
And, with some rain forecast on the Sunshine Coast, Moroney said that would certainly not dent Buffalo River’s prospects on Saturday.
But, Moroney was quick to point out that Buffalo River is adept racing on top of the ground as well.
Moroney hopes the Brisbane campaign in the warmer weather will hold Buffalo River in good stead when he returns to Melbourne for the spring after Saturday’s outing.
“He’ll have a quick break in Sydney and then we’ll get him back to Melbourne,” Moroney said.