Queensland gelding Solzhenitsyn is on target to begin his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 14.
The seven-year-old is coming off a slightly disappointing 2013 Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign that was highlighted by a victory in the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) but soured by a clerical error that meant he missed out on a chance to compete in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).
Solzhenitsyn spent time in the spelling paddock after finishing a credible fifth in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and according to trainer Robert Heathcote has progressed well since returning to trackwork.
“So far everything has been going well,” Heathcote told Sky Racing HQ.
“He is nice and happy, healthy and his coat is glistening.
“Solzhenitsyn will also trial on the third of September and make his way down to Sydney for that race (Theo Marks Stakes) on the fourteenth.
“After that, maybe on the Monday or the Tuesday, he will continue on down to Melbourne and be prepared for a similar program to his successful carnival.”
The son of St Petersburg had a very impressive 2012 Spring Racing Carnival campaign that was highlighted by his maiden Group 1 victory in the Toorak Handicap (1600m) and he is set to defend his title this year.
Solzhenitsyn will begin his Melbourne campaign in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, contest the Toorak Handicap a fortnight later and head to Moonee Valley for Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) on October 26 – a race he finished an unlucky third in last year- before finishing his campaign in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington .
Solzhenitsyn will join Umrum (2001 and 2001), Nicopolis (1963 and 1964), Desert Breeze (1952 and 1953) and Saxony (1948 and 1949) as the only horses to win the Toorak Handicap in back-to-back years if he is successful in the race this year.