Victorian Derby winner Lion Tamer and Caulfield Cup runner up Harris Tweed will begin preparations for their spring carnival campaigns when they step out in a 1000m barrier trial tomorrow at Cambridge.
Kiwi trainer Murray Baker confirmed that he would again bring his stable stars to Australia in search of more spring carnival glory.
Lion Tamer has not been seen since his dominant six and a half length win in last year’s Victoria Derby. While he was spelling he had a nasty stable accident that left him unable to race during the Sydney autumn carnival.
“He cut his leg quite badly in a stable accident earlier this year. The wound was at the back of the hock and could be stitched. We had to bandage the leg heavily and keep him boxed for five weeks,” Baker said.
Baker also said that he thought Lion Tamer was in for a ‘very good campaign’ and that he was excited about the horses prospects in the Cox Plate.
Baker confirmed that Lion Tamer would resume in late August in either the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield or the Group One Hawkes Bay Challenge Stakes at Hastings in New Zealand on the same day. How the horse trials tomorrow may well determine how Baker structures the horses campaign.
Harris Tweed on the other hand is recovering from a partial paralysis of the opening of the larynx. While such an injury sounds like it should floor a horse, Harris Tweed has been operated on and is ready to resume on the track.
In a mark of how horses can get over the condition, So You Think had a similar operation on his throat before going to Ireland and proving himself as one of the best middle distance horses in the world.
Harris Tweed, who finished second in last year’s Caulfield Cup and fourth in the Melbourne Cup will more than likely have a very similar campaign to the one that served him so well last year.
He will more than likely target the Naturalism Stakes and the Bart Cummings on his way to the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
An intriguing situation regarding Harris Tweed has arisen after it was revealed that a horse with the exact same name from the UK is also considering a tilt at this year’s Melbourne Cup.
William Haggas who trains the English ‘Harris Tweed’ confirmed that he would be investigating quarantine options for his horse who has proven himself in England over the staying trips.
However if the English Harris Tweed was to come to Australia he would be forced to change his racing name, as the Kiwi Harris Tweed already has that name registered in Australia.
Harris Tweed (the kiwi) is currently rated a $61.00 chance in the Caulfield Cup, while his quote for the Melbourne Cup is steady at $81.00.
Lion Tamer, on the other hand, has received more backing in the spring features and is currently quoted at $26 for the Caulfield Cup, while his Melbourne Cup quote is $31.00.