Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller is setting the bar low with My Kingdom Of Fife and is simply hoping that the veteran gelding gets through his first-up run in the 2014 Canterbury Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Tendon issues have kept My Kingdom Of Fife away from the races since he won the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) during the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival and a number of members of the Waller stable have worked tirelessly to return the nine-year-old to racing condition.
Waller told Racing Ahead that he is very happy with the condition of My Kingdom Of Fife and said that he looks extremely fit, but admits that the gelding is sure to struggle in his first race start for over two and a half years.
“He is very, very well,” Waller said.
“You are scared to put them under too much pressure and Kingdom Of Fife is like that, but probably twice over.
“He has had tendon issues, which take a lot of rehabilitation and you find that they can only be one gallop or one race away from straining them again.
“He doesn’t look soft, but I’m sure that he is inside.
“He looks quite fit and he is lighter than he has ever raced, so that shows how much work that he has done.
“It just concerns me with a couple of years off the scene; they just must be a bit soft.”
Waller isn’t expecting much from My Kingdom Of Fife in the Canterbury Stakes this weekend, but is confident that the son of Kingmambo is capable of returning to his best form and has included him in the nominations for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
My Kingdom Of Fife is expected to have his next race start in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and Waller believes that run will have the Group 1 winner ready to be competitive during The Championships.
“I just want to see him get through Saturday and second-up he will be a lot better and third-up he should be ready to chime in,” Waller said.
“Don’t worry about his age; he has been a lightly-raced horse and very well looked after.
“Forget the age when you are doing the form in three starts time.”
My Kingdom Of Fife is currently the extreme outside in 2014 Canterbury Stakes betting markets, at odds of $101, while stablemate Zoustar ($2.70) is a narrow favourite from Not Listenin’tome ($4.50).