Promising gelding Al Aneed is set to return to the races for the first time in over a year in the All Victoria Sprint Series Heat 8 at Flemington on Saturday.
Al Aneed has not been seen at the races since he suffered a tendon injury when he finished 14th in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 18 last year and trainer Mick Price has patiently nursed the More Than Ready entire back to fully fitness.
Price told Racing Victoria that he is happy with the physical condition of Al Aneed, but he believes that the four-year-old may struggle first-up in the All Victorian Sprint Series and will need a few runs before he returns to the form that saw him be competitive at Group level during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival.
“With tendon injuries you just never know but the tendon is currently perfect and he’s had a good preparation, albeit he is still a bit underdone,” Price said.
“He’s had a lot of rehab over the past 12 months and would have been in work around 14 weeks coming along slowly but surely.
“I wouldn’t think he could win but the main thing is to get him back to the races.
“I think he’ll take a couple of runs to get him back to race fitness.”
Al Aneed made his racing debut in February of 2012 and scored his maiden race win in the Eastcoast Plumbtec Plate (1208m) at Sale in September before racing greenly when fourth in the Guinot Hat ‘N’ Hooves (1220m) at Mornington.
The talented entire made his black type racing debut in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 20 and he scored an upset win over a strong field, but he had no luck in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 3.
Al Aneed race erratically again when fifth in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (2600m) a fortnight later and finished second behind Gig in the Fiesta Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on December 22 before being sent to the spelling paddock after jarring up on a firm Caulfield track.
He returned to the races with an unlucky second behind Academus in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on May 4 before suffering a tendon injury in the Fred Best Classic a fortnight later.