The five-year-old Carnero will look to record his first win in more than three years when he takes to the track for the $70,000 Hanan Displays Handicap at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday.
Mornington-based trainer Dean Binaisse feels that the Carnegie entire has now overcome the injuries that have kept him from the top echelon of racing for so long.
Carnero finished second behind Mr Make Believe at Flemington last weekend and his trainer is confident he can go one better this time around.
“He will back up Saturday and hopefully go fairly close if he doesn’t hurt himself between now and then because he is pretty accident prone,” Binaisse said.
“He has licked up every bit of feed and his mannerisms around the stable are still as bright and bubbly as what they were going into that race so the signs are pretty good going into it.
“That’s not to say something can’t go wrong, it is a horse race, but I am really happy with him.
“Apparently a couple of top weighted horses won’t accept so they should raise the weights.
“As long as he can draw a nice gate, get to the outside and get some open running I think he will go fairly close.”
Binaisse believes that Carnero has almost completely recovered from his leg injuries that have forced him out of racing for two and a half years.
“The legs are going fantastic,” he said.
“I’m stoked with what he has done this campaign.
“To have a five-year-old horse who has had such a long time off but is still keen to race and attack the line and love his work like he does, it is great to see.”
The trainer has already planned celebrations to follow Carnero’s next race.
“We’ve actually already booked a table for 15 of us at a restaurant in Mornington on Saturday night,” Binaisse said.
“Win, lose or draw it was like he won anyway on Saturday to come out in the owners colours and go around again so competitive.
“That was like a win for them last week so whatever he does now is a bonus to them but I think there would be a pretty big party on Saturday if he did win.”
Binaisse is excited about the prospect of a successful six-year-old season for Carnero.
“Talking to a couple of people who I respect in the industry a fair bit, they say usually when they’ve had this long of a time off after a break their next campaign is even better again,” Binaisse said.
“I’ve got an owner who works for the AFL as a fitness coach, he is a sports scientist.
“We sat down together over lunch one day and mapped out a program together for Carnero to do the same work as an AFL footballer would do coming back from a Cruciate/Achilles injury.
“Since I’ve put that horse on this program he has jumped out of the ground.”
Binaisse hasn’t counted out a spring carnival campaign for the lightly raced five-year-old.
“If we can continue on with this program and I can keep him going he may just be able to race right through the spring and have a fitness edge going forward,” he said.
“If we do get a wet spring and some of these tracks are rain affected I know he is going to have that fitness edge and go pretty good.”