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Lizard Island ready for Flemington return

More than 15 months after he last raced, Lizard Island is set to make his return at Flemington.

Lizard Island suffered a tendon injury after running fourth to Tivaci in the C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in February last year.

On Saturday he makes his return in a 1400m-handicap.

Trainer Pat Hyland said the four-year-old, who was gelded during his lay-off, had been given a long and thorough build-up for his return.

It included a trial over 1000m on the synthetic track at Cranbourne on May 22 in which he finished fourth.

“He’s been in work a long time after that injury and fingers crossed everything is going well,” Hyland said.

“The leg’s been good but they are day-to-day propositions when they’ve had an injury.

“I’m very happy with him. I don’t know whether he can win or not, but he’s fit enough to go to the races.”

During his three-year-old season Lizard Island was considered one of Victoria’s brightest stars.

He ran second to Press Statement in the 2015 Caulfield Guineas and later in his campaign finished eighth to Tarzino in the Victoria Derby (2500m) which Hyland later said was too far.

As a result Lizard Island has paid the penalty for his good form in black type races, despite winning only the one race, a maiden at Pakenham.

“He’s only won one race and he’s a 90-rated horse,” Hyland said.

“You go through his form, his good runs were pretty good.”

Hyland has elected to kick off Lizard Island at Flemington saying it’s the right track for a horse returning from injury.

The Cranbourne-based horseman will also be represented by Lake Como in the 1000m-handicap.

Lake Como failed to beat a runner home in the Sangster Stakes at Morphettville last month at her most recent start.

Her past two wins have come over the 1200m-straight course at Flemington.

“There’s not much else to run her in,” Hyland said.

“The ideal race would be a mares race but she races well down the straight and she’s fit and well.”

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