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Long Leaf and Fundamentalist will line-up for Lindsay Park in the Regal Roller Stakes

Fundamentalist launches a spring campaign at Caulfield that the Lindsay Park operation hopes can lead to an elusive Group One victory.

A two-time winner from 18 starts with seven minor placings, Fundamentalist returns in Saturday’s Listed Regal Roller Stakes with Mark Zahra riding for the first time.

Among Fundamentalist’s seven placings are five at Group One level, commencing in the 2018 JJ Atkins Stakes when third to The Autumn Sun.

Last spring Fundamentalist finished second to Amphitrite in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield and third behind Shillelagh in the Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington then during autumn photo finish seconds to Nakeeta Jane in the Surround Stakes and the Randwick Guineas behind The Autumn Sun.

Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes said Fundamentalist was unfortunate to have bumped into horses the calibre of The Autumn Sun, Mystic Journey and Amphitrite during her career.

He believes Fundamentalist is ready to take the next step having filled out during her break.

“She’s deepened in the girth and rounded out in the back-end,” Hayes said.

“She’s a tough filly that loves her racing and she improves the further she gets into her prep.

“She’s trialled really well and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she has to offer.”

Lindsay Park also has Long Leaf in Saturday’s sprint.

Long Leaf hasn’t raced since finishing sixth to Mystic Journey in the Australian Guineas.

“He loomed up in the Australian Guineas and looked the winner, but pulled up really sore,” Hayes said.

“He was sore for six weeks afterwards with a bruised foot but he’s back in excellent order.”

Long Leaf won the Karaka Three-Year-Old Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie in January but Hayes and the Lindsay Park team is unsure what the now four-year-old’s best distance is.

“We’re undecided at this stage whether we’ll keep him to sprints or step him out in trip,” Hayes said.

“We’ll make that call after we see how his first couple of runs go.”

 
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