After nine months on the sidelines, Tralee Rose (NZ) (Tavistock) makes her long awaited return to the racetrack on Saturday in the Michael Grumley Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield.
Not seen at the races since last year’s Melbourne Cup, trainer Symon Wilde says despite being well short of her preferred trip, the six-year-old can again be affective fresh over the mile, after finishing third in last year’s Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) when first-up.
“It wouldn’t surprise me to see her run a bold race fresh, that’s exactly what she did last year,” Wilde said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if she did something similar, all we’re looking for is a nice run, after this we’ll know if we need to sneak another run in there.”
Wilde says Tralee Rose has overcome a few minor injury concerns after being galloped on in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
“She was galloped on, and it took a little while, she had a few niggles here and there and we decided against an Autumn campaign to give her an extended run and target the Spring staying races, I’m glad we did,” Wilde said.
“We gave her that extended break which I think has done her the world of good, she’s back as good as ever.”
Such was the success of last year’s Melbourne Cup lead in, Warrnambool-based Wilde sees no reason to make drastic changes to the plan this time around.
“If anything, we’re a little bit in front of where we were last year and that’s why we’re thinking maybe having that one extra run will be good,” he said.
“Last year she went the Heatherlie (Stakes), Naturalism (Stakes), Bart Cummings (Stakes), this year we’ll follow a similar path, but we’ll kick off in a mile race on Saturday.
“She’s had two jump outs, and this (Saturday) will be used as a little pipe opener, we just want to see her on better ground, we’re treating it almost like a third trial on a good surface.
“She’s going really well, we’re very pleased with her. Having had such a long layoff we think it’s beneficial.”
After taking Wilde and his team on an incredible ride in 2021, culminating in a ninth-place finish in the Cup, the astute horseman says chasing Cup glory for a second time is a no brainer.
“It’ll just be great to see her back again,” Wilde said.
“It was such a wonderful experience, I never thought I’d have a horse good enough, we all really enjoyed it, at the moment, fingers crossed, she’s all sound and well, we can follow a similar path and again really enjoy it.”
To be ridden for the first time by Mark Zahra, Tralee Rose is a $17 chance with Sportsbet to win the opening race at Caulfield on Saturday.