Trainer Robert Heathcote and jockey Damian Browne both agreed that Buffering raced flat when sixth behind Aerovelocity in the Hong Kong International Sprint, reports Racing Network.

The Queenslander worked forward from the gates with his usual natural speed and settled outside leader Aerovelocity but struggled to find another gear in the concluding stages.

"I think he just raced a touch flat today, the tough campaign and his foot issues this week have probably caught up with him," Heathcote said.

"After he went 50 metres I knew we were in trouble because he didn't show his his natural zip from the gates.

"He got across okay but he wasn't at his best, it is not easy to come over here and take on the locals on their turf.

"The winner has gone extremely well, he is a serious sprinter.

"We haven't got the desired result but he wasn't disgraced."

Browne was happy with the effort of Buffering but just said he lacked the turn of foot when asked for his maximum effort.

"He just kept grinding, he couldn't dash," Browne said.

"I'd say he was below his best today. He has had a couple of tough runs in Melbourne and probably just had enough."

Aerovelocity was unlucky in defeat last start but more than made up for it with a brilliant front-running display under the guidance of Australian jockey Zac Purton.

He controlled the race from the outset and kicked strongly in the straight to defeat Peniaphobia and Straight Girl.

Gordon Lord Byron, winner of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes in Sydney earlier in the year, ran on strongly for fourth.

Heathcote said Buffering would enjoy a long spell with a view of targeting the Brisbane winter campaign.