Stamina will return to the races for the first time since August last year in the Bruce Gadsden Handicap at Flemington on Saturday, but trainer Peter Moody has some bigger races in mind for the talented colt during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Stamina had form around the likes of Arabian Gold, Bull Point and Savvy Nature during his early spring campaign last year, finishing second behind Arabian Gold in race starts at both Canterbury and Royal Randwick before winning the Rosehill Gardens Handicap (1400m) on August 31, but a suspensory ligament problem has kept him away from the races for almost 12 months.
Moody told Racing Ahead that Stamina needed the run in the Bruce Gadsden Handicap to take the edge of him before the start of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he revealed that the Sebring colt would have a freshen up after running this weekend before being prepared for a tilt at the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.
“He has been off for a year,” Moody said.
“He had a little bit of a suspensory issue and we have done a bit of rehabilitation and he is in good shape.
“He has just sort of come up at the wrong time of year for him and he is ready to go to the races, so this is one to get the juices flowing and give him a competitive spin and a day out at the races.
“We will then take the foot off the pedal and I think that there are better races in mind for him in the spring.
“1000 metres is well short of his best, but this will just knock the rough edges off him and give him an outing that he does require because he is a big bull and above himself.
“Anything is a bonus tomorrow and we just want to see him get home in one piece.
“He is a horse that prepped up with the likes of Dissident and those horses over a year ago and held his own, so we have always held him in pretty high esteem.
“I think in the spring we could realistically target a race like the Toorak or something like that.”
Stamina is currently available at Bruce Gadsden Handicap odds of $9.50, while the well-backed O’Malley ($4.40) is a narrow favourite from Handsome Tycoon ($4.80), Trevinder ($6), Seven Falls ($6.50), Cosmic Lights ($6.50) and Whistle Baby ($7).