Flemington-based trainer John Sadler’s grey galloper Linton will be bought back at the end of the month to prepare for the spring’s 2012 Caulfield Cup in October, the five-year-old having bypassed the race last year after a disappointing lead-up under the preparation of Robert Hickmott.
The Galileo gelding was last seen finishing dead last when 12th behind December Draw in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last October, the culmination of a poor season that prompted former owner Lloyd Williams to sell the horse to its new overseas connections Malua Racing.
It was the second year that Linton failed to win connections a Melbourne Cup after they ran a distant 21st beating home just two other hopefuls in the 2010 Melbourne Cup behind Americain.
Their Melbourne Cup failure two years back came after a career-best season that included a win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield and a good second to subsequent Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday in the Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington.
They ran four times during last year’s autumn carnival including a second to the since retired Shocking in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and a nice third behind the ill-fated Cedarberg in last April’s The BMW (2400m) in Sydney.
The now five-year-old failed to come back last September and they have been rested since, Sadler eyeing off the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival at Morphettville for Linton’s return.
Sadler named the $350,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 12 for Linton, which is also on the agenda for Australia’s sprint darling Black Caviar next race.
There is also a chance Linton will skip a clash with the undefeated queen in favour of the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at the same meeting.
“He’s going really well, I couldn’t be happier with him,” Sadler said.
“He took a while to settle in but since he has the more work I’ve done with the horse the more he’s strengthened.
“I’m really pleased with him. Touch wood, at the moment he’s lovely and sound.
“We may take him to Adelaide, I just don’t know which way I’ll go.
“He could even possibly have a run in The Goodwood or may even run in the Lee Stakes.
“I’ll just see how he’s going at that time.”
Looking further ahead this year the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November has been taken off the cards and instead Sadler will focus on getting Linton in winning form for the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
“I’m not doing a great deal with him during the autumn, the Caulfield Cup in the spring is hopefully for him,” Sadler said.
“He’s certainly shown with his ratings his best runs are about the 2400-metre mark so hopefully we can get him back to near his best form.”
Follow the progress of Linton and the other spring cup horses by bookmarking us here at Races.com.au.
Looking for the best horse racing odds in the country this year?