Not having raced since a one-run spring prep in September of 2012, Rick Hore-Lacy’s Group 2 winning stallion Chase The Rainbow is nearing a summer return before their 2014 Doncaster Mile goal in the autumn.
Originally Hore-Lacy planned to target the injury prone Dash For Cash grey at the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this past Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Caulfield Cup ambitions were abandoned however after the five-year-old injured their suspensory ligament.
“He had a swollen suspensory ligament,” Hore-Lacy said.
Now the focus is on a summer comeback for Chase The Rainbow who Hore-Lacy is hoping can get back to their best in time for the Syndey Autumn Racing Carnival.
Lightly raced for their age with just seven career starts for four wins to their name, the horse’s biggest turf triumph was the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley in September of 2011.
After failing in that year’s Caulfield Guineas one run later however they spent a subsequent 11 months on the sidelines due to ongoing feet and joint issues.
Since then they’ve had just the one run, a promising three and a half length victory back in September last year over the 1400m at Caulfield.
“He was last on the turn in the (2011) Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley and he won easing up by a length-and-a-quarter. So when we’ve got him right he’s a very good horse,” Hore-Lacy told AAP this week.
Earlier this month they had their first official trial for the year showing plenty of promise when second over the 990m at Cranbourne.
They returned to Cranbourne for another hitout on Monday, which they won by nearly three lengths, and are now looking at a first-up run in the $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on December 7 having pulled up well.
“We’ve had troubles with his feet,” Hore-Lacy explained.
“He’s a bit flat-footed but he’s got a bigger size shoe on now and we’ve had no trouble at all with his feet this time in.
“The other problem was his joints and we’ve had no problem with his joints this time in, so at this stage he appears perfectly sound and if we can keep him that way he should have a pretty good innings.”
Hore-Lacy has never given up on Chase The Rainbow, a $90,000 buy from the 2010 William Inglis and son Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, and hopes his and the patience of connections can pay off next year.
The ambitious long-term goal is the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 19.
“His ultimate aim is the Doncaster at Easter. But that’s a fair way down the track,” Hore-Lacy said.
So first they’ll get back to the business of racing in the summer.
After the Doveton Stakes, where they’ll likely be ridden by Steve Arnold, Hore-Lacy plans to run them in either the $120,000 Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) back at Caulfield on Boxing Day, or step them up in class for a shot at the $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
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