Foreman for trainer Gai Waterhouse, Mark Newnham has confirmed talented stayer Laidback Larry will return to racing at Royal Randwick this weekend for a first-up appearance ahead of a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival that may be geared towards the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) on October 4th.
A notable performer over early 2014 autumn carnival events, Laidback Larry was disappointing when tenth in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) last time out on February 12th, but has reportedly taken well to his time in the paddock.
Confirmed to line up for the Shout Out Handicap (1600m) on Saturday, Newnham said the O’reilly gelding did not enjoy his brief stint in Melbourne over the conclusion of his last campaign and is likely to remain in Sydney through spring.
“Gai was back last week in time to look at him and she is happy enough to kick him off this week,” Newnham told AAP.
“Melbourne didn’t really work out for him.
“It could have been a combination of things. He went up in grade and he had a trip away.
“He’s a horse that likes to go along at a good gallop and he never got that opportunity down there.”
Likely to target lesser-races as an indicator for the legitimacy for a tilt at the highest level of Australian racing in The Metropolitan, Newnham said jockey Adam Hyeronimus will return to the saddle this weekend and is expecting an improved stayer in Laidback Larry through the spring.
“Adam Hyeronimus is riding him on Saturday and his form is really good for Adam,” Newnham added.
“But he might be a similar horse to (2010 Metropolitan champion) Herculian Prince or something like that at the same stage. He’s got a similar racing style.
“He’s typical of the O’Reilly breed in that he’s a late maturer.”
Claiming five race wins from just eleven competitive race starts to date, Laidback Larry performed particularly well in Sydney at the beginning of this year; claiming three victories back-to-back prior to his ill-fated trip to Victoria.
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