Slow build-up fits tal­ented Lizard for come­back

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - By RAY HICK­SON

FIF­TEEN months is longer than the ca­reers of most colts these days but that’s the amount of time Group 1 placeget­ter Lizard Is­land has been off the scene.

The 2015 Caulfield Guineas run­ner-up makes his long awaited re­turn – as a geld­ing – in the Rod John­son Hand­i­cap (1400m) at Flem­ing­ton to­mor­row hav­ing over­come two ten­don in­juries.

Trainer Pat Hy­land re­vealed the four-year-old has been in work for a long time, and given good ground­ing, he heads to the races with the fin­gers crossed.

“He’s fit enough to run very well, fit­ness won’t be a prob­lem,” Hy­land said.

“But the fact he hasn’t seen a race for a long time he’s sure to feel the pinch some­where along the track.”

Lizard Is­land’s prob­lems be­gan when he suf­fered his first ten­don in­jury af­ter run­ning fourth be­hind Ti­vaci in the CS Hayes Stakes in Fe­bru­ary last year.

Af­ter an ex­tended break Hy­land had him in light work pre­par­ing for a come­back when the ten­don failed on him again. It was then de­ci­sion

made to geld Lizard Is­land and give him an­other chance.

“He’s been through the wars but hope­fully we are on top of things and it’s all be­hind him,” Hy­land said.

“At the mo­ment the ten­don ap­pears re­ally good and he’s cer­tainly not sore on it.

“I know it’s been a long time since he raced but he has been in work long, long time.”

Hy­land, 75, sent Lizard Is­land around in a trial on the Cran­bourne syn­thetic track a cou­ple of weeks ago and gained the green light to re­sume his ca­reer.

But trainer isn’t go­ing to get too far ahead of him­self just yet and wants to see the horse get through the race.

“We didn’t put too much pres­sure on him in that trial, the idea was to see how ev­ery­thing stood up and he’s come through it well,” he said.

“It’ll be lovely if can run a nice race, he’s a very good horse and he proved that as young horse.

“It’s not much good try­ing to plan some­thing yet, we don’t want to jump the hur­dles be­fore we come to them.”

A re­turn to the Flem­ing­ton straight track ap­pears to favour Hy­land’s mare Lake Como in the Bruce Gads­den Hand­i­cap (1000m).

It’s been a month since the four-year-old fin­ished last in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes and while Hy­land said he’d love a 1200m event he ex­pects the mare to run well.

“She seems to race well down the straight and his­tory tells us if you get one that likes it keep them there,” he said.

“It’s a bit short but it’s not too big prob­lem be­cause it’s down the straight and it’s a small field.”

Lizard Is­land is set to re­tur n 15 months af­ter in­jur y saw the Caulfield Guineas run­ner-up side­lined

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.