Tasmanian Hot Dipped is ready to begin a campaign on the mainland her trainer hopes will lead to stakes race success.
The mare has not raced for 13 months because of a bowed tendon, but trainer Brendan McShane has poured the work into the now five-year-old.
Hot Dipped runs over 1200m in Saturday’s Dr Sheahan Plate at Moonee Valley and will be ridden by 2kg claiming apprentice Stephanie Thornton.
McShane said the injury after a Caulfield placing in July last year was so minor it was almost missed.
“We had it scanned and sure enough there was a hole in the tendon,” McShane said.
“I had to go through a 12-month episode of rehabilitation inclusive of training but eventually the tendon healed and we got the racehorse back.”
McShane owns a water treadmill and varying the depths of the water aids in the recovery of tendon injuries.
He said as the injury improves the water depth is lowered to allow horses to stretch further helping the tendons to realign.
Hot Dipped then progressed to the treadmill with rare gallops under saddle.
“I was given good advice from notable trainers in Victoria not to ride them, just use treadmills for gallops,” he said.
“In the last month we’ve given her a couple of trials and a racecourse gallop at Devonport and everything seems to have gone well.
“That’s the only time she’s been under saddle since the injury occurred.”
McShane doesn’t know what to expect on Saturday saying her 800m trials at Hobart were too short for a mare heading towards 1600m.
“I do expect to see her thereabouts at the finish, whether that’s in front or not, I’m not sure,” McShane said.
“We’re on a long term project to try and win a Group Three race and she’s shown she can handle most Listed level company in Tasmania.
“Once we can get her out to a mile, a Group Three in Victoria could be a possibility.”