Talented sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme is close to a return to racing after he recorded an impressive win in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens yesterday.
Howmuchdoyouloveme has not been seen at the races since he suffered an injury during the running of the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 21, but the Written Tycoon gelding indicated that he was almost ready for a return to racing with comfortable win over Bonee Tess and Snitzler in the seventh barrier trial of the morning.
“It was good to see the old boy back,” trainer Con Karakatsanis told Sky Racing HQ.
“He actually slipped coming out of the gates, but Brenton knows him very well and he kept him together and just let him cruise round and he seemed to do it quite comfortably.”
Howmuchdoyouloveme looked as though he was going to develop into a Group 1 sprinter after he took out the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) at Caulfield during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, but the six-year-old has been plagued by injuries and controversy over the past two years.
The talented gelding suffered a recurrence of a nasty back injury during the his run in the Healy Stakes during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and Karakatsanis said that his staff have had to patiently nurse the Group 2 winner back to full fitness over the past few months.
“When he ran down in Melbourne a couple of years ago in the Salinger it was really disappointing and he actually pulled a fair few muscles in his back,” Karakatsanis said.
“We just struggled to get him to 110% since that day and it was kind of a more rushed preparation to get him to the Brisbane Carnival.
“In the Healy he travelled like the winner coming around the home turn and as soon as Nash (Rawiller) let him down those muscles in his back just gave way.
“He returned back to Sydney and he only had 20 percent movement in his rear end and he was struggling to walk, so we had to give him a long spell.
“We have worked pretty hard with him to get him back to this stage.
“By all signs of yesterday he has come back pretty good.
“He has been a little frustrating because I know how much ability he has got, but when you get a horse that is 17 and one hands and up near 600 kilos he just puts a lot of pressure on that body of his.”
Howmuchdoyouloveme may have shown promising signs during his barrier trial, but Karakatsanis is not planning on rushing the sprinter back to the races and does not have any immediate targets in mind for the gelding.
The Warwick Farm-based trainer said that he will let Howmuchdoyouloveme decide when he is ready for a return to racing, but he is hoping to get the lightly-raced six-year-old ready for another tilt at the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“At this stage I have no plans with him and all I am doing this preparation is getting the horse mentally right and trying to get him as good physically all for a stepping stone to another Brisbane campaign,” Karakatsanis said.
“He may just have one or two runs this preparation and I will just let the horse tell me when he is ready.
“When the big boys tells me he is ready I will start finding a race for him, but until then it is all about letting the horse do the talking.”
Howmuchdoyouloveme has recorded seven wins from his 20 race starts, but has already accumulated over $560,000 in prizemoney for connections.