Grand Piano will take the next step towards resurrecting his career at Randwick on Saturday.
Farm life isn’t for everyone, even horses.
Twelve months ago, Grand Piano won four of his five autumn starts and was being touted as a lightweight chance for the Stradbroke Handicap.
But after struggling to force his way into the final field, he was spelled.
A change of trainer followed as his owner decided to have his team of horses prepared from a rural property, however, after Grand Piano flopped in two spring runs, it became clear country life wasn’t for him.
He found his way back to original trainer John Thompson earlier this year and after a fast-finishing second at Eagle Farm last start, Grand Piano appears to be back on the right trajectory as he prepares to chase his sixth career-win in Saturday’s Acy Securities Handicap (1300m) at Randwick.
“The owner had a private trainer on his farm and he just didn’t click with the farm life obviously, because his runs from there were terrible,” Thompson said.
“But back in a city stable now he seems back to his normal self.
“We were very confident last start in the Queensland race and we nearly pulled off a plunge there.
“I think he’s back to going good again so if he runs to his old form, he’s a super chance again.”
Thompson will have a strong hand at Randwick with filly Flying Tyrol in the two-year-old race and Fituese in the Listed Bob Charley Stakes.
But his value runner could be Primitivo, who resumes in the Racing To Win Handicap (1600m).
Primitivo has won two recent trials, is capable fresh and handles heavy tracks and Thompson has been rapt with his build-up.
“I reckon he is going better than he’s ever gone, he has been trialling so well,” he said.
“He’s a Magic Millions horse so we want him racing in the summer for the Magic Millions. We go winter-summer with him. The aim is the Grafton Cup, probably third-up.”