Tom Melbourne has returned from a spell with a strong Gold Coast barrier trial effort as he prepares for spring carnivals in NSW and Victoria.
A winner of five races but a runner-up 10 times in a 31-start career, Tom Melbourne was having his first hit-out since a winter spell and managed to record another second on Tuesday.
After sitting third and wanting to race keenly, Tom Melbourne got up along the fence to be beaten a nose by Big Tree in a deceptive photo-finish.
There was confusion over who had actually won the trial until the judge confirmed Big Tree, a stakes winner as a younger horse, had got the result by the smallest of margins.
Trainer Chris Waller’s Queensland manager Paul Shailer said Tom Melbourne had trialled as expected.
“He will be on the float back to Sydney on Wednesday morning and probably have his first spring run in the Theo Marks in a couple of weeks,” Shailer said.
Toby Edmonds’ stable stars Whypeeo and Houtzen also trialled as they warm up for a trip to Melbourne.
Whypeeo led most of the way to beat Houtzen who sat three-deep in a 900m trial.
Both appeared to have plenty in reserve.
“They both trialled very well and pulled up well,” Edmonds said.
“They will now head south. They will probably have a jump-out down there before having their first runs this time,” Edmonds said.
Houtzen will chase fillies and mares stakes race and Whypeeo stakes sprints in Melbourne.