Trainer Rick Hore-Lacy has revealed that the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) is the long-term goal for injury-plagued Chase The Rainbow, who is set to return to the races in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on December 7.
Chase The Rainbow has not been seen at the races since he won the National Jockey’ Celebration Day Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on September 1 2012 but he moved closer to a return to racing by winning a barrier trial over 990 metres at Cranbourne yesterday.
The Dash For Cash entire has struggled with a number of injuries since making his debut, the most recent being a tendon problem, but Hore-Lacy told RSN this morning he is confident that the five-year-old has recovered from his injury concerns.
“He has had his problems; suspensory ligament, we have had problems with his feet and at one stage he had a crack in his shoulder,” Hore-Lacy said.
“I think if he was going to break down again yesterday would have been the day.
“He has come through that perfectly well and he walks out of his box sound every morning, which he hasn’t done for ages.”
Hore-Lacy was happy with the way that his promising galloper performed in the barrier trial, as well as his rate of recovery, and believes he is ready to return to racing in less than a fortnight’s time in the Doveton Stakes at Caulfield.
“It is all go for the Doveton Stakes on Saturday week at Caulfield,” Hore-Lacy said.
“It is a $120,000 race, it is an ordinary Saturday race really, but it looks a good race to start him off.”
The veteran trainer has always been confident that Chase The Rainbow was good enough to win at the highest level of racing and is eyeing the $3 million Doncaster Handicap as the major 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival goal for the classy entire.
Hore-Lacy believes that a number of imported gallopers will be set for the Doncaster Handicap and admits that he faces a tough task getting the Chase The Rainbow into the field for the time-honored Group 1 event.
“The long range plan is the Doncaster but every man and his dog will be going for that,” Hore-Lacy said.
“They put it up a million dollars and it has got to the stage now, with the imports that it is spot the Aussie where you can.
“Chase The Rainbow to even get a run in the Doncaster would have to win a couple more races.
“If it is going to be half-full with imports you are going to have to have a pretty good horse just to get in the race.
“We will try and win a couple of races with him and if the Doncaster is still a couple of months away you would put him out in the paddock for a couple of weeks.”
Hore-Lacy has never won the Doncaster Mile but has gone close on a number of occasions; finishing second with Chase The Rainbow’s sire Dash For Cash (2003) and Foxseal (1985) and third with Pinnacles (2008).