Trainer David Murphy has had three-year-old Alassak as an incentive as recuperates from a fractured neck.
Murphy had a lucky escape at trackwork when he fell from a horse in mid- September.
A former champion apprentice in the 1980s, Murphy rode all his horses in work, but has been unable to do so for six weeks.
“I took a tumble and fractured the C5 and C6 vertebrae in my neck. I was galloping a horse and it took fright at the winning post, shied and I came off,” Murphy said.
He was back at the doctors this week for a check-up but his mind was also on Alassak’s comeback at Doomben on Saturday.
Alassak won twice as a two-year-old including his last start in a good quality juvenile race on Ipswich Cup day in June.
Murphy entered him for the Three-Year-Old (1110m) and Class 3 Plate (1200m) on Saturday and decided to run against the older horses.
“It was tempting to try the three-year-old because we would get an idea of where he stands against his own age,” Murphy said.
“But I want him ridden up on the pace and there is a lot of speed in the three-year-old race.”
Murphy also considered jockeys when he selected the Plate.
“The other bonus is Tegan (Harrison) who won on him at Ipswich can ride him in the Plate and she is on one for Tony Gollan in the three-year-old,” he said.
“Tegan is back in form and has ridden two doubles this week. She will get him out and go.”
Murphy believes Assalak can win a good standard race this summer and go on to be a winter carnival horse.
“He has come back bigger and stronger and has been working very well,” he said.
Assalak is owned by Brendan Proudman who often comes from north Western Australia to watch his horses run.
“When Assalak won at Ipswich he drove for three days to get there. I haven’t heard if he is coming Saturday but it wouldn’t surprise me,” Murphy said.