Buffering the one to beat in Cup, say bookies

RACING: Star Queensland sprinter Buffering has been installed a short-priced $2.60 favourite to take out Saturday's $400,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben, the first Group One race of this year's Brisbane Winter Carnival.

A winner of three races at the top level, the six-year-old (pictured) has had two starts this campaign, finishing seventh first-up behind Villa Verde in the Group Two Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 15, before battling on strongly for third behind superstar Lankan Rupee in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on April 12.

The BTC Cup has attracted 15 nominations, including the John O'Shea-trained Sidestep ($4.20) and Knoydart ($10). O'Shea took over on Sunday from Peter Snowden as head trainer for the powerful Darley Australia stable owned by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister and ruler of Dubai.