If there’s a horse that deserves to win Friday’s Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford it’s probably Skytrain.
There Peter Snowden trained galloper was the winner for all money as they came off the bend in the corresponding event last year but a messy race took its toll as he fell at the top of the home straight.
The fall left jockey Kerrin McEvoy in a bad state and fractures to his back kept him on the sidelines for four long months.
Skytrain has had just three runs since then and on paper it looks like a big ask if he’s to rise to the challenge of the 1200m Listed event.
While physically there are no issues at all the horse took a beating mentally and his desire to race was all but lost.
“It shattered him,” Snowden said.
“He wasn’t the same horse afterwards.
“I gave him a short freshen up and brought him back in for two runs and he went disgraceful.”
All up he was spelled for 143 days after the fall and his return looked semi promising when he ran third in a handicap event over 1200m at Rosehill.
Next start at Randwick though it was apparent things weren’t right when he languished in 8th at a Randwick handicap after starting as favourite.
That was in November of last year and Snowden made the decision to pull the pin altogether and get the horse far away from racing and give him plenty of time to sort himself out.
“He had three months up in the hills at Cootamundra,” Snowden said.
“He has had a long time off and a good preparation.
“His first up run was fair and he has shown good improvement since then.”
His only run since returning was a fifth placed finish in the June Stakes at Randwick two weeks ago.
That was the race won in dominant fashion by Squamosa , the favourite for the Takeover Target Stakes.
“I thought he looked half a chance on top of the rise Randwick the other day but then Squamosa put about seven lengths on everything,” Snowden said.
“As I said, he’s [Skytrain] improved since.”