Mutual Regard is set to return to the races in the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes and trainer John Sadler believes that the imported stayer will take plenty of benefit from the run in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Mutual Regard was bought to Australia for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November of last year and he finished a credible 14th before connections opted to leave him in Australia for an autumn campaign.
Sadler said that Mutual Regard had been plagued by a number of issues that kept him out of the autumn campaign, but he told Sky Racing HQ that the Hernando gelding was now ready for a return to racing in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
“He has had a couple of issues, but he seems to be over them as we speak,” Sadler said.
“It is onwards and upwards towards Saturday, but he hasn’t raced since the Melbourne Cup.
“It has been really good, he hasn’t put a foot wrong, his work is good, his coat is great and I am really pleased with his appearance.
“He just has a little bit of a tummy on, but you would expect that at this stage of proceedings.”
Mutual Regard has been included in the 2015 Melbourne Cup nominations and Sadler confirmed that was the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for the six-year-old, but he admits that the stayer may need to win a race like the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on October 24 or the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 21 in order to be assured of a start in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“He has a long way to go before we get to the Melbourne Cup, but he now has a rating of 102 and he is going to have to work his way up the charts a little bit to actually get a run,” Sadler said.
“I would be hopeful that he could be very competitive in a race like a Geelong Cup and that may be a race that is able to get him into the Cup.
“He has won over the 3200 metres and he pulled terribly hard in the cup last year, but he still coming into it when they turned for home.
“He is a horse that if you got him there on the day and he relaxed in the run, you wouldn’t take him lightly.”
Mutual Regard is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $41 with Ladbrokes, while Fame Game ($9) is a clear favourite from Max Dynamite ($15), Order Of St George ($15), Hartnell ($17) and Snow Sky ($17).