While admitting they may not quite make it all the way to the Doncaster Mile 2013 this autumn Sydney trainer Guy Walter will be nominating his Group 1 winner Doctor Doom for the $2 million classic, the four-year-old nearing a race return.
Domesday gelding Doctor Doom enjoyed an elite level win in early October last year narrowly holding off Darci Be Good to win the Group 1 Inglis Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
They have failed to win a race since however having come back in the autumn of last year running four disappointing races including their 13th to Mosheen when beaten 15 lengths in the Randwick Guineas and their most recent effort when a distant 13th to Laser Hawk in the Rosehill Guineas back in March.
Investigations into why they were unable to produce in the autumn revealed Doctor Doom to be suffering from bone chips in one of his knees, the horse having subsequently spent the past 10 months on the sidelines.
Having gotten through the surgery for the bone chips well Walter has been careful not to push Doctor Doom too hard too soon and will continue to take a softly, softly approach with them as they return starting with their Tuesday morning barrier trial over 800m.
“He had a good spell and has come back well,” Walter said.
“I’ll give him two trials before we think about racing him again.”
Exactly what Doctor Doom is capable of this autumn and how far their preparation will go is obviously still up in the air but Walter won’t leave any stone unturned nominating them for the April’s $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) this week.
“He will be nominated for the Doncaster but whether he gets that far remains to be seen,” Walter said.
“He will start out in the lowest grade possible to build his confidence.”
Walter also trialed his currently unraced Encosta De Lago filly Supreme, a half-sister to Walter’s 2006 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Excites, at Warwick Farm on Tuesday morning.
As for his other 2013 Doncaster Mile nominations Walter will enter his 2011 Flight Stakes champ Streama, due to have her first trial of the season on February 1, who won the Australian Oaks last autumn as well her stablemate Appearance who upstaged her in the Myer Classic during the spring.
“Streama and Appearance will both trial at Warwick Farm on February 1st,” Walter said of the duo who are also likely to target the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 23 and the $400,000 Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) on April 6.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival updates.
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