Jim Conlan-trained gelding has resumed pre-training ahead of a big spring schedule that will see him return to Flemington for a second crack in Australia’s most prestigious weight-for-age event, the 2012 Cox Plate (2040m).
The Redoute’s Choice four-year-old produced an excellent effort last year when third to Pinker Pinker and Conlan is gearing him up for his biggest ever preparation.
“I would imagine this would be his best preparation,” Conlan said.
The four-year-old had a long spring campaign last year, starting six times for one win and four place-finishes and Conlan believes he will be even better this year after a promising autumn campaign that featured a runner-up finish in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes.
“You would think he is coming into his best year as he’s sound, he’s well and he’s stronger and more mature,” Conlan said.
The autumn campaign has allowed Conlan to give him a greater rest than last year heading into the spring, with his first race set to be the Memsie Stakes on September 1.
“He needed the extra run last spring as he hadn’t raced since the (Victoria) Derby but this year he came to hand so quickly he nearly won the Ryder second-up,” Conlan said.
Rekindled Interest has won three times and placed on another four occasions from 16 career starts and collected over $850,000 in prize money.
Fellow four-year-old Luckygray has also been touted as a Cox Plate contender after impressing in a winter campaign in Perth.
The Gino Poletti-trained gelding has won twice from two starts including the Group 3 Belmont Sprint last weekend carrying topweight of 61kg.
Jockey Shaun O’Donnell has ridden the Perth star in his past seven starts and is adamant the son of Bradbury’s Luck is ready to tackle the weight-for-age championship.
“I reckon the Cox Plate is the one race he should be in when entries close for Melbourne’s spring races. It could be his best distance,” O’Donnell said.
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