BUFFERING shrugged off the Group 1 monkey from his back when he staved off a lunge from Hong Kong champion Lucky Nine to win Friday night's Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley, reports TVN's Racing Network. After 10 Group 1 placings from his 18 Group 1 starts, Buffering finally claimed his first Group 1 triumph in the $1 million race

The Queens land sprinter prevailed to win by a short half head from Lucky Nine with a neck to the Peter Snowden-trained Sessions.

Robert Heathcote was overcome with emotion as he basked in the euphoria of Buffering’s Group 1 glory.

“He has 18 goes in a Group 1 and he gets the job tonight in a $1 million race, man that is something special,” Heathcote said.

“I was beginning to wonder ... I don’t even know who was charging at him.

“I feel like I’m at the top of Everest.”

When told that the horse charging at him was Lucky Nine, Heathcote replied: “They said he was the best sprinter in the world, well I have one better.”

Heathcote said the most remarkable quality of Buffering is that the horse always gives 110 per cent.

“They say this is the place where legends are made and he’s a legend for me,” Heathcote said.

Damian Browne said while there was the utmost respect for Samaready given his brilliant Moir Stakes victory, he noted there was a quiet confidence that Buffering could avenge that defeat.

Browne said all concerned with Buffering thought with a little luck they would be right in the race.

“We knew he would take a lot of catching as he always does,” Browne said.

Brett Prebble said he was proud of Lucky Nine, which was having his first start since winning the Kris Flyer in Singapore in mid -May.

Prebble described as a “blinder” the run of Lucky Nine, which just failed to overhaul Buffering.

“He hit a flat patch 350-400 metres out and I lost a length there and I think it cost him winning,” Prebble said.

“You saw what he did in the straight, he just never gave up. He is a courageous little horse and deserved to win.

“He will be fitter for the run and he’ll be hard to beat in the Patinack.”

Sportsbet.com.au agreed as they carved Lucky Nine’s odds from $8 to $4.40 favorite while Buffering tightened from $9 to $6.50.

Samaready, the $2.20 favorite, finished eighth, but Craig Newitt said the mare got “smashed”.