Rosehill trainer Chris Waller is looking towards a Melbourne Cup start with impressive stayer King Gladiator after he executed a perfect return to racing at Warwick Farm on the weekend.
The four-year-old gelding won the 1,600 metre race by a neck in what was his first run since placing fifth in the AJC Derby in April.
King Gladiator was due to return to racing in July, but a leg injury proved to be a unexpected setback.
”We had him ready to go but he got an injury to his back leg, which was the equivalent of tennis elbow,” Waller said.
”We had to ease right off him but it has come right now.
“He has the residual fitness and he is still in the Melbourne Cup (nominations).
“There is always one that gets in through the back door and he might be the one this year.”
Waller will follow a similar program to the one Maluckyday completed last spring in order to gain a place in the $6.2 million race.
“He has to do everything right to get there (to the Melbourne Cup) like Maluckyday did last year,” Waller said.
”He couldn’t have done any more today … and certainly has a bright future.’
The lightly raced King Gladiator has won two of his seven race starts and has accrued almost $65,000 in prize money.