By Ray Hickson
Trainer Paul Messara isn’t buying into the stigma around horses returning from wind operations and is confident one has done the trick on promising three-year-old Rekindled Force.
The now gelded son of Redoute’s Choice has been the best backed runner on the Rosehill program to Friday, firming from $3.10 to $2.60 in the TAB Highway Handicap (1100m).
Messara said while statistics state around 70 per cent of wind operations work he’s found they are effective particularly in horses of above average talent.
“Generally when you have a good horse and you do a wind op you get a good result,’’ Messara said.
“I think the wind operation has done him the world of good.’’
Rekindled Force won his first two starts back in October at Muswellbrook and Newcastle and such was the rap on him he started $3.50, and well supported, in a BM75 won by subsequent ATC Oaks winner Unforgotten at his only other appearance.
Rekindled Force runs second to Zestful in a 900m Cessnock trial on June 27
Because the horse required the wind operation the decision was made to geld him as it meant he would miss the autumn and any shot at black type races.
He’s had two barrier trials to prepare for a first-up run over a trip Messara considers a bit short of his best, the latest trial was a close second to Zestful at Cessnock on June 27.
Messara isn’t the type to make grand declarations about horses returning from extended breaks so he’s not overly bullish until he sees Rekindled Force return.
“He’s been in work for three months, he’s had a good grounding and is ready to go,’’ he said.
“He has plenty of ability, he’s won two from three but with the time off I’m always a bit cautious about getting too confident.
“He’s a good enough horse, I think he might want the run but I expect him to finish in the first three.’’
Messara said he has plenty of respect for last week’s winner Highway Sixtysix in Saturday’s Highway.
As for what heights, both class and distance wise, Messara expects Rekindled Force to reach he said he’s thinking he’’ develop into at least a 1400m horse.
“I want to get him back racing and if he turned out to be a Saturday class horse I’d be pretty happy,’’ he said.