A bout of travel sickness ended Magic Millions Classic plans for two-year-old Nistaan but the colt is ready to make his return to competition in a late-season race at Caulfield.
Nistaan finished a fast-closing second to stablemate Despatch on debut in the Ballarat Magic Millions Clockwise Classic in November and trainer Tony McEvoy planned to aim the colt at the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January.
“He ran very well on debut and was a little bit unlucky not to win,” McEvoy said.
“I then took him up to Queensland for the Magic Millions and he unfortunately got travel sickness so we aborted that plan and he had a long spell to get over that.
“He’s now on the comeback trail.”
McEvoy said the travel sickness did knock Nistaan around and he gave him time to fully recover.
Nistaan has had a couple of jump-outs in preparation for Saturday;s Schweppes Handicap (1200m) and McEvoy will be guided by the colt’s performances whether he earns a crack at the spring carnival.
He says if Nistaan proves he is good enough, then the timing will be fine to progress into spring.
“I’m really pleased with him and he seems the same horse to me, so that’s been very encouraging,” he said.
“But after that sickness it will just be interesting to see how he comes back.
“He’s had a couple of trials and I’ve been pleased with both of them.
“He’s certainly ready but he’s not fully wound-up because if he is going to get to the spring he’s still got a long time to go.”
The Mick Price-trained colt Lone Eagle has been well supported in the lead-up and was the TAB’s $2.60 favourite on Friday with Nistaan at $4.60.