An arduous summer schedule took a toll on Eastender but the former Tasmanian will get another chance to showcase his wares as a stayer this autumn.
Raced by Star Thoroughbreds, Eastender joined the Chris Waller stable at the start of the spring after making a clean sweep of the major Cup races in Tasmania 12 months ago, highlighted by the Hobart Cup and Launceston Cup double.
He had three subsequent starts for former trainer Barry Campbell, rounded out by a third behind Steel Prince and Surprise Baby in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes in May.
When Eastender failed to fire at his only Sydney start in August, Waller and Star Thoroughbred’s supremo Denise Martin opted to give him a lengthy break.
“He just proved he had begun to feel that very long campaign where he’d been in work for 10 months,” Martin said.
“He had a great spell and he came back into the stable looking really well.”
The six-year-old will resume in Saturday’s Bowness Stud Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm where he takes on exciting stablemate Shared Ambition and promising stayer Attention Run from the Kris Lees yard.
While Martin expects Eastender to find the distance too short, she is hoping to see him hitting the line to confirm he is on track for his autumn goals.
“I expect he will improve after Saturday. He hasn’t won below 1900 metres, but as he steps up in trip he will keep getting better and better,” Martin said.
“He is a genuine stayer.
Tasmanian horses have regularly made an impact when they have travelled to Australia’s eastern states, most recently The Inevitable who claimed the Silver Eagle at Randwick in the spring.
While connections are yet to formalise an autumn program for Eastender, Martin is hopeful the horse can feature in some of the better staying races.