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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Kris Lees will shore up plans for Mugatoo after he continues his campaign build-up with a barrier trial

It will be ‘take two’ for 2021 All-Star Mile winner Mugatoo on Monday when he heads to Randwick for a critical barrier trial test.

The gelding was due to step out at his home track of Newcastle last Tuesday but dislodged apprentice Dylan Gibbons as he was being loaded and went for an unscheduled gallop around the track.

“Just as he was loading, he sucked straight back and the jockey went over his head,” trainer Kris Lees said.

“He got loose then and ran back to the tie up stalls, and pretty quickly.

“He took a little bit of skin off but he’s fine, thankfully.”

The seven-year-old is on the comeback trail and hasn’t raced since sustaining a tendon injury in last year’s Doomben Cup.

He had a pipe-opening hit-out at Muswellbrook on April 13 and after last week’s dramas, Lees has redirected the horse to a 1200m Open Trial at Randwick on Monday before determining where he heads.

“He will probably trial at Randwick on Monday. The trial will be pretty crucial to when we run,” Lees said.

Mugatoo will be one of the headline horses at the trial session, which will also feature emerging sprint star Mazu who is being freshened for a tilt at the Doomben 10,000.

Mugatoo’s stablemate Enchanted Heart is also on the road back to the races after undergoing knee surgery following two unplaced runs in the spring.

The winner of the Listed Takeover Target Stakes 12 months ago, she looked sharp when second in her heat at Newcastle last Tuesday and Lees was hoping she could pick off another black-type target this campaign.

She is likely to resume in Sydney, but a Queensland raid isn’t off the table depending on her form.

“There are some nice stakes races over the winter so we will just try to place her right,” he said.

“She will probably stay here to start with and stay on the softer ground.”

 
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