Everest contender Classique Legend has resumed preparations for his tilt at the $14 million Randwick sprint after overcoming a minor setback that ruled him out of a scheduled barrier trial.
The four-year-old was due to have a hit-out at Randwick on Monday but trainer Les Bridge scratched him as a precaution when he presented with a nasal discharge.
Subsequent blood tests cleared Classique Legend of anything more serious than a head cold and he was back at trackwork on Wednesday.
“He’s alright now,” Bridge said.
“He worked this morning, Kerrin McEvoy rode him, and he’ll do a little bit of work again tomorrow.
“We’ll probably trial him at the next lot of trials at Randwick.”
The next trial session at headquarters is on August 27 and Bridge will wait until then toF determine where Classique Legend kicks off his campaign, although he confirmed the horse was likely to have two runs into the October 19 Everest.
One thing Bridge is certain of is that the horse has returned bigger and better after a maiden preparation that yielded three wins, culminating in the Group Two Arrowfield Sprint in April.
“He’s a lot stronger,” he said.
“I think he needed that spell. It was probably the end of him that last run being in his first preparation and I think it was just the right time to turn him out.”
Bridge’s more immediate focus is on Saturday’s Kensington meeting where he has two runners, Slow Burn in the Events By ATC Handicap (1550m) and in-form mare Helga in the Book Spring Hospitality Handicap (1400m).
Helga has earned a shot at Saturday grade after posting back-to-back wins at the midweeks and gets into the race with 54kg after the 3kg claim of apprentice Chris Williams.
Bridge has also secured Williams to ride Slow Burn, who the trainer is hoping can find her best form after three unplaced runs, including a last-start sixth to The Party Girl when she was beaten less than three lengths.
“She didn’t have much luck her last run, she ran into a few dead ends,” Bridge said.
“I can’t get her any fitter, she’s drawn alright, she’s got three kilos off her back so she gets her chance.”
Bridge has been happy with the progress of Helga who he says has “done a treat” and he won’t be surprised to see her make a successful transition to Saturday level.