Trainer Chris Waller believes that veteran gelding Metal Bender is in for a good preparation ahead of his return to racing in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) in Sydney on Saturday.
Metal Bender suffered a serious tendon injury after his victory in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last year and it looked as though his injury-plagued racing career may have been over.
But, the eight-year-old has drawn on his legendary toughness, which allowed him to win the 2010 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) just a year after fracturing a leg, and is now only a couple of days from a remarkable return to the races.
Waller does not believe that Metal Bender will be victorious first-up on Saturday but said he is confident the son of Danasinga will perform well during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
“We’ve nursed him back and even on Saturday he will be carrying a few extra kilos, but he does look really well within himself,” Waller told AAP.
“Good horses like him are hard to find.
“He is well respected.
“I haven’t thought about whether he could win or not.
“I don’t expect him to win, I expect Rain Affair to win, but I think he will be in for a good preparation.”
Metal Bender has generally performed fairly without winning in his first-up races after suffering a serious injury.
He finished sixth behind Melito in the 2010 Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), his first race start after fracturing his leg, and finished third behind More Joyous in the 2012 Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) after spending over a year away from the races.
Metal Bender is the only past winner of the Warwick Stakes in this year’s field and will join Lonhro (2001 and 2003) and Gay Gauntlet (1965 and 1967) as the only horses to win the race on multiple occasions in non-consecutive years if he pulls off an upset on Saturday.