Injury-plagued import out to revive careerWednesday 17 July 2019
An imported gelding who has spent more time on the sidelines than he has on the racetrack is poised to make an unlikely return to competition at Randwick.
When King's Bay takes his place in the ATC Member Tours Handicap (1000m) on Saturday, it will be just his second start in the past six years and his first for trainer David Pfieffer.
Pfieffer isn't certain how the horse ended up in Australia but what is clear is that the gelding made a resounding start to his racing career winning six of his first nine starts in South Africa during 2012-13.
He was sold to Hong Kong interests shortly after but suffered a tendon injury while in quarantine.
The issue was severe enough to keep him away from the racetrack for four years, during which time he found his way to Victoria where he had one start - a sixth at Moonee Valley in October 2017 - before injury struck again.
He was again rehabilitated and ended up in Pfieffer's Warwick Farm stable where he has done well enough to earn a belated shot at salvaging his racing career.
"He's only been with me for a few months but he's had a fair few tendon issues in the past, hence the couple of big, long lay-offs," Pfieffer said.
"I haven't had an issue with him so far, touch wood. I do know they're there and it's evident they're there but we're trying to do what we can to hold him together."
The eight-year-old has had two barrier trials to prepare for his resumption and Jason Collett, who has partnered him in both hitouts, takes the ride on Saturday.
While Pfieffer has been pleased with what he's seen from King's Bay so far, he expects the horse to benefit from some match fitness.
"I think he's going to be better suited when he gets to 1100 or 1200 metres, but Saturday will be a good starting point for him," Pfieffer said.
"It will be good to get him out on the track, although I'm tipping he's going to be blowing a few cobwebs out."
King's Bay will have 11 rivals headed by the Hawkes Racing-trained Greyworm who is unbeaten first-up and makes his Sydney debut after winning three of his six starts in Victoria.