Trainer Robert Heathcote says his star sprinter Buffering could be headed to Royal Ascot in 2014. A trip to the UK is one of two potential international options for the son of Mossman, with the Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) in December next year also on the agenda, reports Racing Victoria.

Heathcote said Buffering, who made it back-to-back Group 1 victories in the $1 million VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington, would now head to Ascot in Perth for the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on November 23, with a decision on whether the six-year-old heads overseas likely to be made during his autumn campaign.

“It’s something we’ll do a lot of serious thinking about over Christmas (going to Royal Ascot) but we’ll just get Perth out of the way and then give him a good, long break,” Heathcote told Sky Racing’s Racing Retro.  

“He’ll come back and specifically target the T.J. Smith (1200m) in Sydney, I’d like to target that race first up and then a couple of races back home in Queensland in the BTC Cup (1200m) and the Doomben 10,000 (1350m).

“We’ll then give him another break which gives us the option to look at Ascot and or we could go to Hong Kong.”

Heathcote had planned to take Buffering to Hong Kong in 2012 but scrapped the plans after the horse’s form slumped following his inoculation.

“We can tweak the dates of the inoculation for Hong Kong if we wanted to pursue that option,” he said.

“Last year when we had planned to go the inoculation really knocked him around but this time we could do it a little bit different if we specifically target Hong Kong.”

Heathcote said the news wasn’t so good for his other 2013 Spring Racing Carnival Group 1 winner Solzhenitsyn.

After finishing a distant last in yesterday’s $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m), Heathcote said it was discovered that the seven-year-old was suffering from a partially paralysed larynx and would require surgery.

“We’ve always known there has been a little slight issue,” Heathcote said.

“He’s never been the clearest winded horse that I’ve had in the stable but it’s deteriorated rapidly.

“Now days with the modern surgery techniques the success rate is quite high.”