Greg Hickman is hoping the decision to save comeback galloper Definite Choice for Sunday’s Warwick Farm program will be rewarded with a strong first-up display.
The five-year-old has been off the scene for 17 months through injury and Hickman elected to scratch the gelding from a Rosehill race on Saturday to run in the Randwick Betting Auditorium Handicap (1400m) on his home track.
“It was probably a bit easier race,” Hickman said.
“I’m trying to place him to perfection because he’s had a tendon injury and I thought this was the right race to start him off in.”
Definite Choice showed promise as a young horse, finishing fourth in the $250,000 Inglis Classic as a two-year-old, before contesting a number of stakes races at three.
His best result in stakes company was a fourth to Monaco Consul in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes in October 2009.
The son of Not A Single Doubt has been off the scene since coming in among the tailenders in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate in May last year.
“He had a tendon injury so he might be a bit fresh (on Sunday) and whatever he does he will take plenty of improvement from,” Hickman said.
“But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run a cheeky race.”
Hugh Bowman has ridden Definite Choice in two barrier trials in the lead-up to his return and he retains the ride.
Hickman said he would approach this campaign with Definite Choice differently from the previous one.
“He’s going well and he looks enormous,” the trainer said.
“Where I tried to get him to stay last time, I don’t think I’ll go down that path again.
“He’s going over 1400 first-up but he has had two trials.”
Definite Choice was the first emergency and gained a start with the scratching of the Paul Cave-trained Star Leader.
The Hickman-trained Palasport, winner of his most recent start in May on the Kensington track, is also entered to resume in the same race as Definite Choice.