The careers of two horses which contested a Kyneton maiden race in 2013 have gone down different paths.
By The Grace scored a debut maiden win on Kyneton Cup day, relegating odds-on favourite Chautauqua into second place.
Chautauqua now is the highest-rated sprinter in world rankings with five Group One wins to his credit including his latest victory in Hong Kong.
In contrast, By The Grace is a winner of five of his 23 starts with his biggest victory coming in last year’s Balaklava Cup.
While Chautauqua is in quarantine in Hong Kong preparing for his return to Australia, By The Grace will kick of his latest campaign in an 1100m benchmark 90 handicap at Caulfield on Saturday.
Knee problems have forced trainer Andrew Noblet to bypass firm summer ground and concentrate on tracks that have the edge off them.
“With a view of him not liking summer tracks he came in and had a prep earlier this year and got to almost trialling stage and then went out again,” Noblet said.
“We had him back and he was going to run in the Wangoom at Warrnambool last week but first-up on a heavy 10 would be a hard race so we thought we’d take an easier option.
“The 1100 metres is probably not the ideal distance on Saturday but that’s all that’s about for him at this stage.”
Noblet said the Winter Championship series, which commences at Flemington on May 21 held on various city and country tracks with a final at Flemington in July, would be an option for By The Grace.
He said it would fit perfectly with his program as he gets further into his preparation and longer term a return to South Australia in September for a defence of his Balaklava Cup success would be considered.
By The Grace trialled at Cranbourne last month in preparation for his return and will be ridden by apprentice Beau Mertens who will claim 3kg on the gelding.