Cup campaign starts here for Redwolf
BNCHMRK 70 HCP: Grafton trainer Alan Ryan said champion galloper Redwolf will need to rely on a touch of luck when he runs from the carpark at Grafton today.
It is the first race back for the five-year-old gelding with a long stint in the paddock, marred by several setbacks, keeping him from the track since November.
"He had an accident in the paddock when a kangaroo frightened him and he turned and ran awkwardly into a gate so that set us back," Ryan said.
"It is his first run back after an extended rest, we have drawn a wide barrier with plenty of speed on the inside, I would just be happy to see him run a good race," Ryan said.
"(But) he always runs well on his home track so we wanted to try and keep him here for his first run back from the spell."
It appears Redwolf will be well reacquainted with his home track by the end of these preparations with Ryan eyeing off a potential start in the South Grafton Cup during July Carnival.
"The plan we have is to try and get him into the South Grafton Cup," Ryan said.
"1600m will be right up his alley by the time the July Carnival comes rolling around.
"We want to try and have him up to five or six runs before the carnival comes around.
"He is still carrying a few niggling little injuries but if he can get back to his best form, if we have got those cleared by July then we should be in for the hunt.
"I'd say the horse is at about 90% right now but we want him to be at his peak for the carnival."
With Redwolf entering his return race at top weight of 60.5 kilograms, Ryan has opted for the skills of apprentice Jesse Graham.
"Jesse is a great young up-and-comer," Ryan said.