By Ray Hickson
Three years ago a lightly raced gelding called Way We Go was what we’d call a “winter find’’, a highly promising young horse who was tipped for bigger and better things after just three starts.
There were lucrative offers from Hong Kong for the $4000 purchase – he failed their strict vet test - and his trainer Garry Frazer had him labelled as stakes class at least.
Flash forward 1096 days and Way We Go has still had three starts.
After being nursed back from a tendon injury he finally returns in the ATC Hong Kong Tour Sprint (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
“I’ve always had a huge opinion of him. I thought he was a Group horse, as good as his sister Spright at the same stage,’’ Frazer said.
“He won his maiden at Warwick Farm and went straight to a Saturday race and won and not many do that.’’
Way We Go finds the line well late in his trial at Rosehill on July 9
The tendon issue that has kept the now rising seven-year-old away from the races for three years presented after he ran fifth at Canterbury on July 25 in 2015.
Frazer had him back in work at the end of that year but the injury hadn’t quite healed and he determined patience was required.
But he never thought of giving up on the horse.
“I bought him in once and he had a bit of heat back in so we rested him for about 12 months and now his tendon is perfect,’’ Frazer said.
“We gave him a bit of work and got him to the trials but we stopped when we found a bit of heat. At the moment you couldn’t tell what leg it is.’’
How do you assess a horse that showed huge potential but has been off the scene for so long?
Frazer said, given he’s confident Way We Go is in A1 condition, he can almost treat Saturday’s race like he’s taking a horse he knows is talented out for its first start. As though he has a clean slate.
He saw enough in his only public trial, a close third behind Show A Star at Rosehill on July 9, to cheekily suggest he could win first-up. TAB opened Way We Go at $8 on Wednesday.
“He’s done plenty of work, he’s been in normal work for the last two months,’’ he said.
“He could have won his trial and won easy but there’s no prizemoney on offer that day. He was beaten a length and Jay (Ford) said he could have blown them away.
“There’s nothing like match fitness but he is as fit as I can have him without having a run. But I think he will be hard to beat.
“I know he’s only raced on heavy but he goes all right on a good track. He’ll improve for sure but I think he will run a great race.’’
Way We Go wasn’t the only acceptor at Rosehill due to reappear from an extended absence – it’s been 704 days since Super Tycoon made it four straight city wins at Randwick on August 20 in 2016.
But trainer Greg McFarlane said he’d prefer to restart the six-year-old’s career on a soft track and will likely wait for another day.
Super Tycoon’s two-year-old half-brother Golden Tycoon made a winning debut at Canterbury on Wednesday.