The Andrew and Sue Groves owned Sugar Pine will make a return to racing this week but connections still aren’t quite sure where they will be focusing their attention.
Trainer Mick Miladinovic has entered the enigmatic five-year-old for race seven at Canberra today, a very tough 1200m Class One Handicap.
The Canberra trainer is keeping his options open though, also nominating for the 1175m Benchmark 58 at Albury on Monday.
“To be honest, I’m not too sure where we are going just yet,” Miladinovic laughed.
“I just put a jockey on him here at Canberra and that is Blaike McDougall, which is a bonus.
“I’m inclined to go to Albury at the moment because it looks easier, but I am hoping it’s overcast and rains here in Canberra, I don’t think he minds the wet and there could be a few scratchings”
“I’ll accept at Albury and I will wait until the last minute to see what race looks the best option.”
The Krupt gelding is a winner of only one race from 18 starts but has always shown ability, highlighted by an emphatic 5.71 length maiden win at the Sapphire Coast late last year.
Despite his ordinary winning record, Miladinovic believes this could be Sugar Pines breakthrough preparation, citing a better attitude, both on and off the track.
“Look, mentally he is finally starting to work things out, he is a hard horse to deal with and he is still a big kid but I think this is going to be his prep,” Miladinovic said.
“Just on his work, he is strong, he isn’t trying to get out of it and carry on like a pork chop, and unless something goes amiss with him, he should go very well.”
Miladinovic further explained why the Tumut-owned gelding has been off the scene for 17 weeks, suggesting that punters should put a line through his previous two or three efforts before the break.
“He had an abscess on his hoof, he is very soft in the feet and he possibility even had the abscess for two or three runs,” Miladinovic said.
“He was due for a spell anyway after his last effort, so we put him out in the paddock and no more than two hours later, the abacess had blew and my farrier said it looked like he had it for a while.”
Sugar Pine has since full recovered from his abscess and looks ready to rumble at either Canberra today or Albury on Monday.