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Berisha begins his spring campaign in a sprint race at Caulfield
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One-time Caulfield Cup hope Berisha begins his spring campaign in a sprint race at Caulfield following an injury-enforced lay-off.

Berisha was assured a start in last year’s Caulfield Cup courtesy of his win in the Mornington Cup.

He was progressing nicely towards the race, finishing third behind Cup winner Jameka in the Naturalism Stakes last September.

Two days later his spring was over because of a tendon injury.

The six-year-old makes his return in Saturday’s Regal Roller Stakes following the injection of platelet-rich plasma into the tendon before a six-month spell.

Trainer Robert Smerdon said Berisha was ready to return.

“The leg was scanned. He came into work, the leg’s been scanned again and it looks good,” Smerdon said.

“He’s had a jump-out and a lot of miles in his legs but he’s obviously not a 1200-metre horse.

“This is the first step in the process of hopefully getting him back to being a decent 2000 and 2400-metre horse.”

Smerdon says horses returning from tendon injuries can be reluctant to stretch out but he’s not expecting that problem with Berisha.

“He’s got a tough attitude and it’s like he’s got a bit of white-line fever,” Smerdon said.

“I’m thinking he’ll get back successfully as long as he stands up.”

Smerdon other runners in the race, Reldas, will have a stallion chain after he stood flat-footed and eventually ran last in the July Sprint at Randwick last month.

“He’s always been a bit hit and miss in the gates as he can get up in the air,” Smerdon said.

“He did it in Sydney and he bombed the start and that was the end of his chances.

“We put a stallion chain on him at the trials and he was approved at Cranbourne last week.”

Smerdon was hoping for Saturday’s race to be a little weaker.

“He’s in good shape and he’ll run well, but it’s a pretty hot race,” he said.

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Racecourse: Caulfield
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