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Mark Kavanagh’s injury-prone import December Draw is on the road to recovery after their testing Caulfield Cup campaign last year and will be prepared for another shot at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival towards the end of the year.
The former European-trained Medecis gelding debuted down under in May of 2011 winning back-to-back Flemington races before being turned out for a three month spell.
They returned that August and won three of their opening four starts including the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and their narrow victory over fellow import Glass Harmonium in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Their Turnbull victory saw December Draw jump favourite in that year’s coveted $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
After injuring themselves in the run however they were last over the line in the 18-horse race beaten 25 lengths by the winner Southern Speed.
Spending the next 11 months on the sidelines they came back for another spring preparation last year and produced a number of promising runs when third to Ocean Park in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and third again this time to subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Searching for atonement in the Caulfield Cup next start December Draw again started near the top of the markets for the iconic mile and a half handicap but were disappointing when beating home just one other runner – Dunaden taking out the honours nearly 10 lengths ahead.
December Draw was last seen running seventh of eight runners behind Alcopop in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day, turned out after that run to undergo an operation for bone chips.
The rising eight-year-old has been progressing well since then according to Kavanagh who said they were being prepared as if coming back for their third consecutive spring carnival in Victoria.
“I spoke to the owner this morning and he’ll be going into work at the end of May,” Kavanagh said from Sandown on Wednesday.
“At this stage we don’t know whether he’s going to make it back (to the races) or not, but certainly he’ll come back into work and head towards a spring campaign.”
“He’s a tough horse, but we’ve got to take a wait and see attitude with him.
“Hopefully he’ll stand up and there’s a race in him somewhere.”
To date December Draw has raced 28 times for eight wins and nine other minor placings for $676,772 in prize money.
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