Talented sprinter Shanghai Warrior is set to return to the races for the first time in over a year when he runs in Heat Six of the All Victorian Sprint Series at Flemington on Saturday.
Shanghai Warrior has not been seen at the races since he finished at the tail of the field in the Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 9 last year due to a bowed tendon, but moved one step closer to a return to racing by scoring an impressive barrier trial victory at Cranbourne over 1400 metres on May 26.
Trainer Pat Hyland told Racing Ahead that it has been a long haul nursing Shanghai Warrior back to full fitness and said that he is looking forward to seeing the Elvstroem gelding back on a racetrack in the All Victorian Sprint Series this weekend.
“He has had a long time off; he had a bowed tendon and they take time,” Hyland said.
“I am very happy with him and I was very excited with his trial, I thought that he trailed beautifully.
“He has had a nice bit of work since then.
“I couldn’t say that he is going into this race 100 percent fit, but he is fit enough to run very well first-up.
“We made sure that he was doing some sort of exercise pretty well all the time and he had time trotting around the rides and also our Pro-Ride track has been a great help in working because it is a reasonably firm sort of track that helps tendons.
“A fair bit of work goes into that sort of thing and it has been a long haul and we didn’t let him get too big.”
Shanghai Warrior broke through for a maiden win at Group level in the Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at the start of the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival and Hyland has always had a high opinion of the five-year-old; giving him opportunities at Group 1 level in the 2012 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m).
Hyland is hoping that Shanghai Warrior can return to Group 1 level eventually, but said that he would be happy for the five-year-old to simply win a heat of the All Victorian Sprint Series.
“He has won the Aurie Star and that was a nice race, but we are just going to take him along now,” Hyland said.
“He will probably run in the Sprint Series that he is starting off in on Saturday, there is another one in a fortnight and then the final after that, and they will probably be his first three runs.
“If he could win one or all of them, I would be very happy.”