Bel Sprinter returns to work on Monday with the Manikato Stakes pencilled in as his Group One target this spring.
Trainer Jason Warren said the sprinter looked tremendous ahead of his build-up to the Melbourne carnival.
“He will trot and canter under saddle for the first time on Monday and he’ll start back at the races three weeks out from the Manikato Stakes in a 1000 metre race,” Warren said.
“That’s the target.”
The winner of five of his nine starts, Bel Sprinter had an interrupted autumn campaign.
He was scratched from the Newmarket Handicap with a hock injury on race morning and was unplaced in his next three starts including the Group One Galaxy for which he was favourite.
Warren has pinpointed the Group Three McKewen Stakes at Moonee Valley for Bel Sprinter’s return.
“He’ll have one jump-out leading into that,” he said.
“For his spell he was boxed at night and in the paddock each day. He looks tremendous – couldn’t be better.
“It’s a three month process bringing them back to the races and you’ve got to have your targets early and train them for it.”
The Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) will be run on Cox Plate eve, October 26, at Moonee Valley.
Another galloper Warren is looking forward to getting back to the races is rising three-year-old Pronto Pronto who has built up to some even pace work ahead of an early carnival return.
“He’ll start back in the Vain Stakes. We’ll get a feeling in his first two or three runs whether we go to the Caulfield Guineas or keep him fresh and go for the Coolmore Stud Stakes,” Warren said.
“I think he’s a pretty high class horse.”
Pronto Pronto was a Sandown winner in his second start in February before chasing home Black Caviar’s half-brother All Too Hard when second in the Group Two Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.