Washington Heights will return to racing in the Blackwoods Gearwrench Handicap at Rosehill Gardens this weekend and is set to follow a path to the 2015 Carbine Club Stakes.
Washington Heights made his racing debut with a second place finish in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick in April and he started his three-year-old campaign with another close second in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at the same venue on August 16 before she suffered a bone chip when he finished sixth in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6.
Trainer Gerald Ryan said that Washington Heights has come on significantly during his time away from racing and he is thrilled with the condition of the Commands colt heading into the Blackwoods Gearwrench Handicap this weekend.
“He has done really well,” Ryan told Racing Ahead.
“When he ran sixth in the Ming Dynasty he came out of it with a little chip in his front joint and it was taken out.
“He has done really well, he has thickened up a lot and he has maintained his condition thus far.
“He might just be maturing, getting the hang of it and getting the idea of what he is going to do.
“In an 1100 metre race he will probably get back a little bit and that is why I didn’t trial him because if you trialed him first you would be looking for something a bit further for him.
“I am quite happy with how he is going into the race first-up.”
Ryan is not planning on giving Washington Heights a lengthy autumn preparation, but the three-year-old will return to black type racing in either the Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m) in the ACT on March 8 or the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14 before he contests the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick during The Championships.
“He will probably only have a light autumn I think,” Ryan said.
“I have always maintained that he is a miler and I’m not sure where we will go after this Saturday – perhaps the Canberra Guineas.
“He is sort of being aimed towards a race like the Carbine Club and his next run will probably be the Phar Lap before he has a break.”
Washington Heights is currently available at odds of $4.60 to make a winning return to racing this weekend, but will face stiff competition against the likes of Law, Bullpit, Orujo, Shaumari, Muscovado and Bugatty.