Two months of frustrations for trainer David Kelly will finally come to an end when Group One winner Sakhee’s Soldier makes his return to racing at Doomben.
Gold Coast-based Kelly has had a frustrating time with the weather thwarting several attempts to get Sakhee’s Soldier to the races.
Kelly was forced to scratch Sakhee’s Soldier twice and the gelding also missed two barrier trials.
And things didn’t exactly go Sakhee’s Soldier’s way when he drew the outside barrier in a field of 17 for Saturday’s Sky Central Open (1350m) at Doomben.
The trainer said Sakhee’s Soldier would definitely run provided the weather held.
“He needs to have a race and we will have to go back and just hope for some luck in the run home. I wish it was across the road at Eagle Farm with the longer straight,” Kelly said.
Wet tracks stopped Sakhee’s Soldier making his return on March 23 and again a week later. Kelly took him to Grafton where he ran fourth in a trial last week.
“He got back in the trial but ran on very strongly so he should be fit enough,” Kelly said.
Saturday’s race will be Sakhee’s Soldier first start since finishing 11th in the Group Two Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast in May last year.
Sakhee’s Soldier was trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman to win the Group One New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie in March 2015.
They brought him to Australia last year for the Brisbane winter carnival but the gelding was injured in the Hollindale and Baker and Forsman elected to leave him in Queensland.
The now six-year-old has had a small bone chip removed from a knee and stem cell surgery on a leg.
“He had two months off and then he had three months on a water walker before coming to me,” Kelly said.
If Sakhee’s Soldier returns to anything like his best he will line up in races like the Hollindale again.
“But we just want to get over Saturday first,” Kelly said.