Talented three-year-old Hardline has had to undergo a second throat operation but trainer Liam Birchley hopes he can be back racing before the end of the Brisbane winter carnival.
Hardline has won four of his six starts including last year’s Karaka Million in New Zealand.
Since then he has been dogged by breathing problems and has had only three runs this season, winning twice.
He had a wind operation and was going well enough to be nominated for the Mick Dittman Plate (1000m) on Saturday but was not among the acceptors.
“You wouldn’t believe he had exactly the same thing,” Birchley said.
“Hardline had an operation on Friday and he seems to have come through OK.
“We will scope him in ten days time and if he comes through all clear we will press on for the late winter races.”
The Bruce Hill-trained Group One placegetter Teronado has also been dogged by problems but is coming along nicely for his return.
Since he ran third in the 2014 Rosehill Guineas, Teronado’s career has since been littered by leg injuries.
“He has had a jump-out and hit the line well. Teronado is carrying more condition this time so we will take it slowly,” Hill said.
“I haven’t made any firm plans until he is 100 per cent right. But he is a five-year-old who has had only 20 odd starts and there is no rush with him.