Le Val will return to the races in the 2015 Keith Noud Handicap and trainer Noel Doyle is confident that the talented galloper is ready to run well first-up at Doomben tomorrow.
Le Val has been plagued by injuries since he took out the 2013 edition of the Listed Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) as a two-year-old in just his third race start, but he got through his four race starts during the winter without any problems.
The Snitzel gelding returned to the races with a fast-finishing victory in the Tattersall’s Arcade Handicap (1110m) at Doomben on July 18 and he made it two wins on the trot in the Queensland X-Ray Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on August 8.
Le Val did not have a great deal of luck in running in the Country Music Raceday Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on August 22, but he returned to his best form with a fast-finishing second behind Beckham in the Heart Of Australia Plate (1350m) at Doomben on September 12.
Doyle sent Le Val for a short spell following his defeat, but the Gold Coast-based trainer believes that he has the five-year-old fit enough to run well in the 2015 Keith Noud Handicap – although he admits that the Listed Goldmarkert Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day is his major summer target.
“He had a short break after his last run and had a couple of weeks on the water walker and is coming along well,” Doyle said.
“Unfortunately, he missed a barrier trial at the Gold Coast last week when it was rained out but he’s fit enough and has done enough work.
“This is his first go at open company and he always goes well fresh, but it’s not an easy race so he’ll need to be on his game.
“A soft track won’t worry him as he’s won and placed a couple of times in the wet but I wouldn’t want a heavy track for him first-up.
“I’m getting him ready for the Goldmarket and I’ll see how he goes in this before deciding his next start.
“I’ve always said he could have been a Cox Plate horse had he not had so many problems early in his career.
“He’s had a throat operation which restricts him in distance – I don’t think he could get much further than 1350 metres.”
Le Val is currently available at 2015 Keith Noud Handicap odds of $11 with Ladbrokes, while That’s A Good Idea ($2.40) is a clear favourite from Charge Account ($7), Steel Zip ($8) and Whiskey Allround ($10).