Veteran gelding Albert The Fat will return to the races as a nine-year-old in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Albert The Fat is now under the care of Cranbourne-based trainer Stephen Theodore, his fifth trainer during his illustrious career, and has not been seen at the races since a disappointing autumn campaign where he finished out of the placings in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m), Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Theodore told Racing Victoria that he has been impressed with the Magic Albert gelding since he joined his stable and is hopeful that the dual Group 1 winner can run well on Saturday.
“I’m really happy with him; he was meant to trial at Cranbourne before they got called off and it did hamper me because I wanted the chance to see him perform under pressure,” Theodore said.
“Because the rescheduled trials were on a heavy 10 track I said to his owners that we’d just head to the Bobbie Lewis first up in the knowledge that we’d learn a lot from the experience.
“His gallops behind the scenes have been outstanding but I just feel that he’ll need the run on Saturday.”
Albert The Fat has been a consistent Group 1 performer throughout his career, recording victories in the 2010 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) and 2011 Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), and Theodore believes the veteran galloper is still good enough to compete at the highest level of racing during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, with the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 29 a potential target.
“If he ran well and pulled up well on Saturday then I’d probably go to the Rupert Clarke,” Theodore said.
“The interesting thing with him is that his rating hasn’t changed in two years even without winning.
“So even if he was race a bit keen and fierce on Saturday then he may drop a few ratings points, which would give us the opportunity to perhaps carry 61kg in an open handicap to give him an easy kill.”
The Bobbie Lewis Quality is set to be a strong race after leading sprinters Rebel Dane, Temple Of Boom, Broken and Budriguez were included in the initial nominations.