A winning performance at Doomben over the weekend has urged Toowoomba horseman Norm Hilton to press onto the 2012 Epsom Handicap during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with his in-form galloper Bold Glance.
The Sequalo six-year-old boosted their career record to nine wins from 35 starts for over $815,000 in prize money after their smart half-length victory over River Lad in the $50,000 Mount Franklin Open Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
It showed nice improvement third-up after Bold Glance ran third to Adnocon in the Listed Ascot Handicap (1200m), which albeit was against a tougher class of competitors, at Eagle Farm a fortnight earlier.
Hilton has had plans in the works to target the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday October 6 for a little while now, and the weekend’s win only cemented the proposal.
If they go onto the Epsom Handicap 2012 it will be the third Group 1 assignment for Bold Glance to date.
Their first was an impressive third to Sacred Choice in last year’s Doncaster Mile, run over the same track and distance as the Epsom, when Bold Glance relished the Heavy (10) track.
They also raced at elite level last winter when ninth to Sincero in the 2011 Stradbroke Handicap.
Since their Doncaster third however Bold Glance has gone through a number of career threatening injuries and setbacks.
“He put in a couple of poor runs during the winter after he ran third in the Doncaster and I knew there was something troubling him,” Hilton explained.
“There were a few bone chips floating around in his fetlocks so he was operated on to clean them out.
Saturday’s success was Bold Glance’s first win since the Gold Coast Stakes in the wet back in March of 2011, a race they ran a disappointing ninth in when defending their title on another Heavy rated track this March when allocated a hefty 60kg.
“(Jockey) Dean Tanti got off him after the race and said he was making a gurgling noise so at that stage I was thinking about retiring him because he’s been such a good horse to us,” Hilton said of this year’s Gold Coast Stakes run.
“But my vet John Barnwell said the throat operation was a fairly simple procedure and told me there was no reason why he couldn’t keep racing once it was done.”
Now with an eye on the spring Hilton is just over the moon to finally have Bold Glance back to winning form and fitness.
“He’s getting back to near his best form again and I’ll look around for another race down there before he runs in the Epsom,” Hilton said.
“Since his last run he has just improved so much. He has been so well within himself.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming months for all the Sydney and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival news and updates.
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