Independent Road and Parure may still be a little ring rusty after extended breaks, but Lindsay Park is looking for good performances from the pair.
Lindsay Park held high hopes for Independent Road on the eve of last year’s spring carnival only to have their dreams shattered by injury.
Trainers Ben and Jd Hayes had the gelding rolling along in good order after making the decision to cut short an autumn campaign following two wins.
After more than 13 months since he last raced, Independent Road makes his return in the Colin Little Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
“He was back in work and about to go to the races when the injury occurred,” Ben Hayes said.
“He was getting ready for spring, and he was flying when the injury occurred.
“We’ve given him three jump-outs to kick him off over the mile, so he should be fit enough, but he might just be a bit ring rusty.”
Independent Road had scored over 1800m at Sandown in March last year and followed it up with a win over Grand Promenade over 2000m at Caulfield the following month.
Lindsay Park will also run Parure in the Colin Little Handicap who has had one run back following a similar amount of time away from racing.
Part-owned by Coolmore, Parure was retired to the breeding barn after running fifth in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville in April last year.
Two starts earlier Parure was successful in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield.
Parure returned to racing at Flemington two weeks ago, finishing seventh over 1400m.
“She went to the breeding barn and unfortunately didn’t get into foal, so they sent her back to us which was very kind,” Hayes said.
“I was quite happy with her first-up run. She balanced up and hit the line quite well.
“That’s really woken her up after being a long time out of racing.
“It’s got her hunger back, her work has been good at home and stepping up to a mile, from a good barrier and with the claim, and back slightly in class, should suit her.