San Diego has not been seen at the races for almost 12 months, but he moved one step closer to a return by taking out a barrier trial at Warwick Farm this morning.
San Diego contested the third barrier trial over 808 metres at Warwick Farm and he was settled three wide just behind the leaders in the early stages of the trial, while stablemate Knoydart took up the running from Catkins.
The Godolphin entire was the widest horse coming around the final turn and he was kept under a hold by jockey James Innes, but he was still able to finish over the top of Catkins and Knoydart to record a narrow win.
San Diego made his racing debut as two-year-old in February of 2013 and he finished second behind Weinholt in the Porter Plant Plate (1200m) at Ballarat on February 21 before he recorded back-to-back wins in the Ascend Sales Handicap (1200m) at Echuca and the William Buck Joins VAFA Plate (1600m) at Caulfield on March 12.
The Exceed And Excel entire started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival with credible performances in both the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7 and the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 27 before he stamped himself as a Victoria Derby contender when he finished a close second behind Polanski in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 19.
San Diego was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2, but he did not run out a strong 2400 metres and he could finish no better than 12th.
He made his return to racing in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15 last year, but the entire suffered a tendon injury that has kept him away from the races since.
Catkins was having her second barrier trial since she finished third in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on Victoria Derby Day last year and she is a chance of returning to racing at Rosehill Gardens on February 7 where she will have the chance to defend her title in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m).
Knoydart has not been seen at the races since he finished 12th behind River Lad in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 and he also trialed well without being tested.
Sam Kavanagh-trained Tales Of Grimm made up good ground late to finish fourth in the barrier trial, while the Chris Waller-trained duo of Bull Point and Junoob finished at the tail of the field.