This Saturday’s Group 1 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick will mark the return of highly talented New Zealand-bred galloper Metal Bender.
Metal Bender (NZ) has been back in work with Chris Waller for eight weeks after being transferred from Jack Denham’s stable following the death of the legendary Rosehill trainer.
“He had been in work at Denham’s before the transfer and we have taken him along at his own pace since then,” said Waller. “He ran third in a 900m trial two weeks ago and is definitely ready for his comeback on Saturday.
Metal Bender (4g Danasinga – Jacqwin by Bluebird) was one of the best three-year-olds in the land this time last year. He upstaged his more fancied rivals to win the G1 Randwick Guineas and went on to complete a G1 double in the Rosehill Guineas two weeks later.
Metal Bender returned in the spring but a Melbourne Cup assault was derailed when he suffered a stifle bone injury.
“He looks to have made a full recovery and is thriving,” Waller continued. “We know that the 1200m on Saturday is well short of his best distance, but we still expect him to be running on.
As to Metal Bender’s future campaign goals, Waller said that they would take it one step at a time. “We will just see how he comes through each run, but we do have a circle around Brisbane in the winter for him. He’s a very talented galloper and it will be very exciting if he can get back to where he was as a three-year-old.”
Metal Bender is by former NZ based sire Danasinga who is now based at Baerami Thoroughbreds in NSW. His dam Jacqwin is a winning half-sister to G1 winning Cambridge Stud sire Keeper. She has a Savabeel yearling and a foal on the ground by O’Reilly.