The next two months will decide if sidelined superstar Ride High makes a racetrack return.
Owner-breeder Peter Gleeson said the powerhouse pacer, who boasts 16 wins from just 18 starts, was progressing well but when he graduates to fast work again will be D-Day.
“I saw him last week, he looks sensational, but he’s still just doing the water-walker and treadmill,” he said.
“When he gets to fast work and whether he handles that is the key.
“Hopefully that’s not far away. I’d like to think he’d be in the Victoria Cup, but that’s only three months away.
“Just getting back to the races is the goal, not rushing for any specific race.”
Gleeson confirmed Ride High would definitely mix breeding with his comeback preparation.
“He’s standing at Alabar Stud, but we can keep training him while he does his stud work,” he said. “The priority is definitely to race again if we can get him back.”
Ride High was the sport’s pin-up pacer before suffering just the second defeat of his career when fifth in the Smoken Up Sprint at Melton on October 3, last year.
He was subsequently found to have sustained a tendon injury.
There will be a Ride High flavour to Saturday night’s Kilmore meeting when his baby half-sister, the appropriately named High Profile, has her first start.
Gleeson bred the filly, who like Ride High, is trained by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. She’s drawn gate one for driver David Moran.
“Time will tell just how good she is, but we’re expecting her to go very close first-up,” Gleeson said.
“We’ve drawn well, but I think Ozzie Joy will cross at the start and we’ll sit on her.
“She trialled at Maryborough last Sunday week and went really well. She wasn’t knocked around and ran second, beaten a head.
“Clayton (Tonkin, co-trainer) was really happy with the trial. He’s been singing her praises since she first got to their stable.”
While Ride High is Gleeson’s headline act, he’s got a handy “second-stringer” with Stewart and Tonkin in proven open-class star Out To Play.
He’s won 13 races, ran fifth in the Hunter Cup, contested the Miracle Mile and was spelled after a close second in the Group 1 Riverina Championship final on April 4.
“He’s lived in Ride High’s shadow, but he’s a lovely horse in his own right. He’s no Ride High, but not many are,” Gleeson said.
“He’s pretty close to racing again. He trialled at Melton last Monday night and might have another trial or two before you see him at the races.
* Adam Hamilton is a paid contributor on harness racing for News Corp Australia
Originally published asPowerhouse pacer looking to Ride High again
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