A horse with a joint held together by screws, and a jockey who had the same affliction until recently, will team up with trainer Craig Carmody at Rosehill on Saturday.
Promising gelding Single makes his comeback in the Rosehill Gardens Handicap (1400m), nine months after undergoing surgery to rectify a fracture to his off-hind fetlock and cannon bone.
And Carmody will call on Corey Brown to ride Everage should the filly sneak into the $250,000 Inglis Classic field.
Brown returns to the saddle after undergoing surgery to remove a plate and screws in his shoulder which had been causing him pain.
Single, who was two days away from his most significant test in the Doncaster Mile when injury struck, had three screws inserted in and around the affected joint to stabilise it.
“We’re not sure how he did it. He was fine the Thursday morning before the Doncaster and he walked home from the track lame,” Carmody said.
“He had four months off and he’s had a really good grounding. He’s had about three-and-a-half months worth of work leading into this.
“He’s come through it really well.”
Single has won six of his 10 starts and is undefeated first-up.
But he has a few hurdles to overcome if he is to maintain that strike rate.
Not only is he coming off a lengthy break, but he will have topweight of 59.5kg and a wide draw.
“I’d be a little more bullish in my optimism if the rail was true and there were three of four leaders in it, and he’d drawn an alley,” Carmody said.
Single has again been nominated for the Doncaster and his form will determine if connections go down that path.
In the past, holding the gelding together has been one of Carmody’s biggest challenges but he says the horse seems to be stronger and more resilient.
“He was just a bit immature last time and I had to space his runs vigilantly and be careful with him after he ran because he’d drop away on you,” Carmody said.
“But he’s holding together much better so far.
“I’ve been really encouraged by how he’s come through all his trials and his work so far but the proof in the pudding is on race day.”
Christian Reith has the mount on Single.