Trainer Lloyd Kennewell has had six years of pleasure and pain with stable stalwart Heart Of A Lion.
The nine-year-old begins his eighth campaign in Saturday’s Group Three Heath 1100 at Caulfield, his first outing since March.
Heart Of A Lion has won 11 of his 35 starts since making his debut in 2012, but has also been a source of frustration with a number of injuries.
“He’s had knee chips, high suspensory problems but probably more importantly a fractured wither,” Kennewell said.
“He’s had a lot of problems over the years so hopefully he can hold together and if he can he should be in for a good preparation.”
Heart Of A Lion is the elder statesman of Kennewell’s team which he brought over from Adelaide to his new Melbourne base at Caulfield in late July.
Kennewell said Saturday’s race was part of a learning curve to see where the gelding sits in the ranks of Melbourne sprinters ahead of the spring.
“It’s a very strong edition of The Heath but I think he’ll put himself right there,” Kennewell said.
“He’s a 101 rated horse so these are the races he’s eligible for.
“We’ll see how he runs and how he measures up and then we can go from there.”
Heart Of A Lion will be ridden by Joe Bowditch who has been aboard the gelding in seven of his 11 victories.
“Touch wood he’s the soundest he’s ever been and he’s probably going as well as he’s ever gone as well.,” Kennewell said.