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A standout performer over the 2014 edition of the Autumn Carnival, trainer Andrew Noblet is confident of a competitive performance from Sistine Demon in Saturday’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) following a strong Cranbourne hit-out on Monday morning.
Securing eight wins and a further four minor places over his 20 start career so far, Sistine Demon was forced to return to the paddock after injuring his hamstring in a luckless run for sixth in the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) most recently on October 11th.
Having reportedly taken well to his time away from racing and subsequent return to work, Noblet is confident the 2015 Oakleigh Plate figures as the Excites gelding’s best chance of success at the highest level of racing to date.
“He has come through it really well,” Noblet told Racing Ahead.
“He had a nice spell after that and he came through the run with a pulled hamstring muscle and was a bit sore across his hindquarters.
“He has come back into work and his work has been good.
“He had a trial on Monday, which we were quite happy with and he looks like he is coming up ok.
“We gave him a trial the way that we wanted to ride him and we certainly didn’t want to be out there taking that other horse on and giving him too hard a run.
“On his first-up run last time in I thought it was a really good run and going on his work if he finished in the first half a dozen that would be very acceptable.”
Taking out the Thomas North Handicap (1400m) on February 1st before placing a close second to Sweet As Bro in the Listed Kilmore Cup (1600m) at the beginning of 2014, Sistine Demon stamped his claims as a serious Group 1 contender when taking out each of the Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) with ease, but failed to fire when beating just one runner home in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 10th.
Returning to racing for a credible fifth in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) on September 13th, the five-year-old was again disappointing when failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in what was his only other start prior to the ill-fated Weekend Hussler Stakes.
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