Veteran trainer John Wallace will look to honest mare Shapin Lady to help put him back in the limelight after a tough 12 months.
Wallace, best known as the trainer of Melbourne Cup placegetter Oompala and Australian Derby winner Shoot Out, watched his team of gallopers dwindle after he was almost killed by a horse in an accident earlier this year.
Wallace was kicked by a filly at his Gold Coast stables and broke his sternum, several ribs and his left arm.
“I am fine now but my team is down to only eight so I am hardly flat out,” Wallace said.
Shapin Lady gives Wallace his first open company runner in a “couple of years” when she contests the Bartons Bayside Handicap (1110m) at Doomben on Saturday.
He admits he has a soft spot for Shapin Lady who has won four races over sprint trips.
“She is an honest mare who tries hard. I have always thought her best distance was 1000m to 1100m, she just has a bit of trouble the last bit of the 1200m,” Wallace said.
“Funny thing is her last start at Doomben over 1200m was probably the run of the race. She ended up (finishing) third behind Shiraz Attack who is rated a very good mare.
“And she ran a really good fifth at 1350m behind top three-year-old Rudy earlier this year.”
Jim Byrne, who stood down from riding at Ipswich on Monday and missed the Gold Coast on Wednesday, is expected to be fit for the mount on Shapin Lady.
Chris Munce has partnered her at her past four starts, including two wins, but has elected to ride rival Idle Chat in Saturday’s race.
Munce intends to be the main Brisbane rider for Idle Chat’s owners, Dean Watts’s Dynamic Syndications.
Meanwhile, Wallace’s jockey-son Brad is back on the Gold Coast and riding in races again after an extended injury-enforced stint on the sidelines.
“Brad broke his collarbone in three places and was out of the saddle for 14 months. But he is riding a lot of trackwork now and starting to pick up more rides,” Wallace said.
“Lets hope things look up from here for the Wallaces.”