No horse in Australia deserved to win a good race last spring more than Rekindled Interest.
But after that victory came in the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, it seemed he’d cashed in all his credits.
At his next six starts, all in Group One races, Rekindled Interest again became the horse that always seemed to be striking trouble.
After winning the Dato Tan, he went on to finish fifth in the Turnbull Stakes, third in the Cox Plate and third in the Mackinnon Stakes before going for a rest.
The run of frustration continued when he returned, the best of his three runs coming in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill when he finished second to Metal Bender.
For his trainer Jim Conlan, the Cox Plate defeat was the hardest to take.
“He was terribly unlucky in the Cox Plate,” Conlan said.
“He got back, the runs didn’t come, everywhere he went he found trouble.”
Rekindled Interest was beaten only a length-and-a-half by Pinker Pinker and clearly would have troubled the winner with a clear run.
Conlan has planned a similar campaign this season, although he is kicking off a week later than last year in Saturday’s Group Two P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The five-year-old showed he would be ready to race with a strong hitout at Moonee Valley two weeks ago, pleasing both his trainer and regular jockey Dwayne Dunn.
Steven Arnold will partner him on Saturday with Dunn in Sydney to ride crack colt All Too Hard in the San Domenico Stakes.
“I thought he really worked strongly and well,” Conlan said.
“He’s come on a lot since and I’d say he’s in pretty much the same shape as this time last year.
“The thing is, he goes so well at Moonee Valley, so we’ll be aiming at the Dato Tan Chin Nam again and having another crack at the Cox Plate.”
Rekindled Interest was one of 13 acceptors for the Lawrence which also includes West Australian Luckygray, Heart Of Dreams for Mick Price and Bletchingly Stakes winner Ready To Rip.