Talented sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme is set to return to racing in the 2014 Lightning Handicap at Eagle Farm next weekend after trainer Con Karakatsanis ruled him out of the Stradbroke Handicap.
Howmuchdoyouloveme has not been seen at the races since he finished sixth behind Terravista in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 and Karakatsanis, who completed a nine month suspension earlier in the month, had set the Written Tycoon gelding for the Stradbroke Handicap, but told Sky Racing HQ that he had ran out of time get the five-year-old ready for a first-up run over 1400 metres.
“The horse has progressed very well, but we have probably just run out of a little bit of time to run him in The Stradbroke,” Karakatsanis said.
“The 1400 first-up would have been just out of the question for him and he will run in the Lightning over the 1000 on Stradbroke Day and probably two weeks into the Healy.
“He spent a couple of weeks out on the water walker from his last run and he had a nice little freshen-up and has come back in really well.
“The horse looks great and he is doing well, but just getting him to the Stradbroke I would have had to rush him and he is not the type of horse that you want to be rushing.
“I put that sort of plan out the window and just targeted some of the spring sprinting races over the carnival.”
Howmuchdoyouloveme has scored three wins, including the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m), and two placings in his five first-up starts to date and Karakatsanis said he is hoping to have the Group 2 winner as fresh as possible for the Lightning Handicap and withdrew his star galloper from the barrier trials at Rosehill Gardens earlier in the week.
“I haven’t given him a jump out,” Karakatsanis said.
“He was meant to trial yesterday at Rosehill and I opted against the trial and I am just going to take him into that race nice and fresh.
“He does have an excellent fresh record and that is what I have previously done with him before.
“I didn’t really want to change anything with him and he is a happy horse at the moment, so I will just leave him how he is.
“He will have a decent gallop on Saturday and that will top him off nicely.”
Karakatsanis was disqualified for nine months after being found guilty of an attempted raceday treatment of Howmuchdoyouloveme before the 2012 Yellowglen Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and is chasing his first race win since returning from suspension.