Messara’s staying on Weather watch
WEATHERLY (pictured) may be a day to day proposition but trainer Paul Messara is certain the talented colt has lost none of his ability.
After several stop-start preparations, the three-yearold is ready for a belated return at Canterbury tomorrow, though in which race is up in the air.
Messara has accepted for both Schweppes Handicap (1100m) against his own age and the Listed $150,000 Canterbury Classic (1200m) where he’s second emergency.
“Probably the 1100m is a bit more suitable,” Messara said.
“Going forward at Canterbury is a bit of a death ride so we will probably have to him conservatively from a wide barrier in the 1200m.
“Out of eight runners in the other race we’d try to settle midfield.”
Weatherly promised be one of the leading youngsters heading towards the Golden Slipper when he burst onto the scene winning Talindert Stakes at Flemington in February.
He was ruled out of the Golden Slipper when he pulled up shin shore following his third place in a small Todman Stakes field.
From there he’s had “quite a lot of problems”, according to Messara.
“He had a trapped epiglottis, and he had to have an operation for that, and he got crook and had a few other issues,” he said.
“As soon as we’ve got him close to racing something has popped up and had to start again.
“We planned to have him ready in the lead up to the Golden Rose, that was main aim, so it has been a long road getting him there.”
Messara, who trains five horses at Scone in between his duties as studmaster at Arrowfield, scratched Weatherly from the Villiers meeting Randwick two weeks ago but is keen to get him up and running with a view to the autumn carnival.
He won couple of official barrier trials in late October and early November.
“It’s been such a long time off he needs to go back to the races, the competition,” said.
“I have him as fit as I can without going to the races but he will improve a lot with racing.
“He has a lot of ability, there is no doubt about that, just getting him there safe and sound is the difficult part.
“A few days in his life is like six months a regular horse because things tend to go wrong with him.”
Due to the long lay-off and interrupted preparation, Messara is cautious about his winning chances though obviously his best is good enough to be very competitive.