Buffet Buster (checkered silks) came with a well-timed run to claim Race 7, the Brushgrove Hotel and Patrons Brushgrove Cup Benchmark 82 Handicap over 1181m. Image: Emma Pritchard

Buffet Buster serves up success in Brushgrove Cup

Emma Pritchard

Winless in his last eight starts, the Stirling Osland trained galloper Buffet Buster had not won a race since December 11, 2022.

But a peach of a ride by in form jockey Ben Looker brought the Armidale gelding back onto the winners list over the weekend when he recorded a hard-fought victory in the Brushgrove Hotel and Patrons Brushgrove Cup Benchmark 82 Handicap over 1181m.

The feature event on an eight-race program hosted by the Clarence River Jockey Club (CRJC) on April 14, Buffet Buster was unwanted in betting as the field of 11 was loaded into the barriers.

Lining up for his first race since November last year, the five-year-old son of Australian champion sire Snitzel had poor first up form, recording only one minor placing from four previous first up attempts, and drifted out to 25/1 as punters rallied behind the short-priced favourite Oakfield Duke.

Settling back in the second half of the field throughout the early stages of the race, Looker progressively guided Buffet Buster into a prominent position from the 600m post and urged the gelding towards the centre of the track inside the final 400m, affording him clear air as La Amigo and Lady Wardell claimed the leader Hidden Hail at the top of the home straight.

Buffet Buster knuckled down with one furlong remaining to deny Lady Wardell by a long head on the line in a tight finish.

The well supported Cabsav, trained on the track by John Shelton, flashed down the outside to run third for the second year in a row in the feature event, a nose ahead of La Amigo.

Oakfield Duke finished a disappointing fifth.

It was the fourth win of the day for Looker who had celebrated earlier success aboard Flame Tree Star in Race 1, Manic Light in Race 3, and I Saw The Light in Race 6.

The win by Buffet Buster in the Brushgrove Hotel and Patrons Brushgrove Cup Benchmark 82 Handicap took the bay geldings total career prizemoney past $160000 and advanced his race record to six wins and nine minor placings from 35 starts.

During the presentation, CRJC Chairman Graeme Green acknowledged representatives of the Brushgrove Hotel for their ongoing support of the annual event, adding it was great to welcome a large crowd trackside for the race meeting on the weekend.

Looker finished the day with five winners from seven rides after the Brett Bellamy trained gelding Fun Enuff gained a start in Race 8, the Thompson Tree Services/Thompson Contract Fencing Country Boosted Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1410m, following a number of scratchings.

The CRJC will host their next race meeting on April 30.