In what would be a truly remarkable story veteran galloper Scenic Blast is back in Australia ahead of perhaps his toughest campaign to date.
The seven year old gelding has battled his way through Australia, Great Britain, Japan, Hong Kong and the USA but is now back in work for Dan Morton and gunning for another Melbourne spring.
Scenic Blast first rose to prominence in this country when he H.D.F McNeil Stakes in 2007 at just his second start.
From there he placed in a number of black type races before finally breaking through in 2009 to win both the Coolmore Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap.
After that he travelled to the UK to win the illustrious King’s Stand Stakes before a disappointing Asian tour.
Throughout 2010 he toiled away in the United States where he failed to win but never finished less than fifth.
So what is the target for a seven year old first up in the Melbourne spring after nearly a full year away from racing? Black Caviar.
Scenic Blast will contest the Schweppes Stakes before following the unbeaten mare to the Patinack Farm Classic.
Morton knows the task is a big one but says he’s just chuffed to see the horse here in Australia.
“He’s been off the scene obviously for a little while but we’re happy to have him back,” he said.
“After Hong Kong we were seemingly out of options and we thought it was a good idea to get to America where they could give him a bit of help (for a bleeding issue).
“I thought he raced alright in America where he wasn’t wining but he was placing.”
Morton admits it would probably be good if he could have given the horse an easier first up test but says his career record works against him.
“He’s a weight for age horse, he’s highly rated so we don’t have the option of going back to the handicaps with him,” he said.
“I’m fully aware that he’s a fragile prospect but we’ll see how we go.”
As for facing off with Black Caviar, he’s not willing to write himself off just yet, unless she’s in top form that is.
“If he comes right up he could be a horse that’s going to be a chance,” he said.
“If she’s on song I don’t think anything’s going to beat her.”