A horse who has returned from a three-year injury absence will attempt to make it back-to-back victories when he heads to Sandown.
Calendar Lad began his career with trainer Greg Eurell and won one of his nine starts and contested stakes races as a three-year-old.
He was then forced off the scene for three years with a near-fore tendon injury but, now in the care of trainer Brendan McCarthy, the gelding is back racing and has already registered a win.
After finishing strongly to win over 1200m at Pakenham at his second start back, Calendar Lad will now head to Sandown on Wednesday to chase a first city win in a benchmark-70 over 1400m.
“He had officially been retired but a couple of the people in him are Steve and Ceri Jostlear (from Ampulla Lodge) and they believed in the horse as well,” McCarthy said.
“They’d actually tried to get him back a number of times during that period but hadn’t made it. The tendon flared up each time.
“I’ve had a number of horses over the years with bad tendons and got them back to the track and had successful careers afterwards with them.
“It was something I was pretty confident in, that we could get him back to a successful racing career. Because there’s no doubt the horse has got the ability.”
McCarthy has had Calendar Lad since late last year.
“I’ve got a hill track at the farm with a jogger on it,” he said.
“I just put him on the jogger and he went on that for about eight weeks and then it toughened up the tendon.
“We got it to be really strong and it’s held up really nicely to this stage.”
McCarthy believes 1600m will be Calendar Lad’s best distance so the step up to 1400m at Sandown should suit.
He said it was a thrill seeing Calendar Lad win at Pakenham.
“Whenever you have things like this there is always that risk because it’s just a day to day thing. They can be perfect one day and then go the next,” he said.
“So it was more of a relief to have got that first win out of the way and now that we’ve got that it seems like it’s been a worthwhile project.
“And now everything else will be a real bonus.”