Last year’s Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls is scheduled to make an end of season return in the 2012 Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield this Saturday, the David Hayes-trained track specialist looking to improve on a dismal autumn campaign.
A winner of eight of their 32 career starts so far the Hussonet six-year-old’s biggest turf triumph came in the 2011 Oakleigh Plate, after which they failed to finish better than fourth in their six subsequent runs.
Their losing streak came to an end first-up in February this year in Melbourne when they enjoyed success in the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m), maintaining their nice record at Caulfield.
Following was another string of below par performances from the gelding, Eagle Falls crossing ninth or worse in their next four runs including a dead last finish behind Woorim when defending their Oakleigh Plate title.
Hayes and connections are now hoping for a form return when they resume at their favourite track on Saturday, Eagle Falls one of 25 early nominations for the $100,000 Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m).
While the punters may have their doubts Eagle Falls still has what it takes to win a stakes race, Hayes’ assistant trainer Gary Fennessy said that the country air at Euroa was doing them wonders and not to discount the veteran sprinter just yet.
“He is in great order. He hasn’t lost it,” Fennessy said.
“We are training him differently. He comes to the farm and goes into a paddock instead of spending life in the stable.
“We have taken him to Seymour for a couple of track gallops and for the day out.
“His work is as good as ever so there’s no reason why he won’t perform well on Saturday while he’s fresh and Caulfield is his favourite track.”
Getting on now Eagle Falls was starting to feel the effects of a life spent racing and Fennessy said they would be kept to a pretty minimum preparation.
“He is an older horse now and has a few aches and pains,” he said.
“He will be raced sparingly. We have worked out that his first couple of runs are his best so he will only have a couple of runs then be given a break.”
Other notable Sir John Monash Stakes 2012 nominees include the defending champ Secret Flyer, Peter Moody’s former spruik colt Golden Archer, and Group 1 winning Hong Kong visitor Green Birdie.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the weekend’s racing as well as futures updates for the coming spring carnival.
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