Desert Jeuney’s spring campaign ended on a disappointing note but the Group One placegetter is ready to make his return from an injury-enforced break at Moonee Valley.
The Nigel Blackiston-trained five-year-old notched minor placings in the Group One Toorak Handicap and the Group Two Crystal Mile during a six-run spring campaign last year.
He then contested the Emirates Stakes at Flemington but was eased down over the final 250m when jockey James Winks felt he wasn’t stretching out on the firm ground.
It was later discovered Desert Jeuney had a bone chip which needed to be removed.
“He had a small bone chip taken out of a fetlock after the Emirates Stakes, hence possibly why he turned in a poor performance,” Blackiston said.
“He pulled up a bit short.”
Desert Jeuney will resume in Saturday’s Sporting Globe Best Bar & Grill Handicap (1200m) with Blackiston keen to give the horse a fitness foundation for the spring.
“He had to have that time off and I thought it would be nice to resume and give him a couple of races over the winter months on softer ground,” Blackiston said.
The trainer then plans to give Desert Jeuney a short let-up before looking towards some of the better spring races, including the Rupert Clarke Stakes and Toorak Handicap.
Blackiston said Desert Jeuney had come through his surgery well and had pleased him in the lead-up to Saturday’s race.
“He had a good spell after the surgery and he’s come back in great order,” Blackiston said.
“He’s had two very nice trials. He had a very soft trial about a month ago and his last trial was excellent.”
Desert Jeuney has been installed at $21 and will carry topweight of 60kg on Saturday with Dwayne Dunn to ride.
“I think he’s forward enough to run a nice race,” Blackiston said.
“He’s obviously got a fair bit of weight but he’s entitled to have that with his previous form.
“He ran extremely well over 1200 metres first-up last preparation, hopefully he’ll repeat that and he likes the Valley.”