Popular Wyong trainer Michael Clout is looking to mark the end of his battle with cancer with a win by Plugger at his home track on Thursday.
Clout underwent his last course of chemotherapy two weeks ago to treat a rare form of leukaemia and while he is still weak, he gives himself an each-way chance of attending the meeting to watch Plugger in the NBN 50th Anniversary Benchmark 60 Handicap (1100m).
“I feel stronger each day,” Clout said.
“The doctors have told me the cancer is in remission and they are confident we have it beaten.
“However the last round of treatment was pretty intensive and it really took a lot out of me.
“It will be up to Dad (Russell) to saddle up yet again.”
Clout said he had been overwhelmed by the good wishes and help he and his father had received while he was undergoing treatment over the past six months.
“I would like to thank all the trainers at Wyong who pitched in and helped Dad and my staff,” Clout said.
“Words can’t express how grateful I am.
“I would also like to thank all those people who phoned or wrote or sent get well cards from all over Australia.
“Quite a few of them came from people I have never met.
“The Sydney trainers were constantly asking after me and the kindness and concern everyone has shown has been quite overwhelming.
“When you face a fight like this that sort of support is really appreciated.”
After learning his craft with Betty Lane and the late Tiger Holland at Randwick, Clout branched out on his own and for some years combined his career as an investment banker with training horses until racing won over.
Plugger will be ridden by Corey Brown who has been aboard for his past two starts.