Galaxy Raider (fore) returns at Flemington ahead of a possible tilt at the Stradbroke Handicap.
Six months after falling in a sprint race on Melbourne Cup day at Flemington, six-year-old gelding Galaxy Raider is set for his return to racing at the same track.
And trainer Grahame Begg believes the sprinter-miler is ready to perform strongly in Saturday’s Efficient Handicap (1200m) having had a gradual build-up which has included two Cranbourne barrier trials and a jump-out at Sandown.
“He’s up to the mark for tomorrow,” Begg said.
“We have given him a steady build-up and we just thought this was a good race for him, right on his benchmark, rather than putting him in something too hard.
“We’ve waited a bit longer than we probably should have done because he was ready to go about a month ago but when I saw this race I thought it was a good opportunity to run up the straight where he has done well before.
“If he puts it all together I’m sure he will be strong late.”
Galaxy Raider charged home for an eye-catching fifth in a handicap over the straight 1200m in his first start for Begg in March last year.
He appeared set to at least be in the finish of the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) first-up in November before he clipped heels and fell near the 150m.
Galaxy Raider has been given a good break and if his form warrants it early this preparation, a crack at the Group One Stradbroke Handicap in Queensland next month is a consideration.
“He damaged his sinuses and we had to make sure we got him back right again,” Begg said.
“All is good with him.”
Begg also has Sealed and Calmyourfarm running at Flemington in separate races while Miss Siska contests the Group Two Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast.
Sealed chased down the leader to win a 1300m-maiden at Cranbourne first-up and with a light weight and the step up to 1410m, Begg believes the three-year-old filly has a few things in her favour in the Rogan Josh Handicap.
“She has trained on really well,” he said.
Two-year-old Calmyourfarm was second to Moldova at Bendigo in her first start this campaign after being slowly away and meets that filly again in the Jack Styring Plate (1100m).
“We think she will run very well,” Begg said.