Sunday, 17 June 2012
: Scone trainer Luke Griffith is counting on promising gelding Star Of Dubai taking a step closer the Grafton carnival with a win at Gunnedah on Monday.
Griffith has his eyes on the $50,000 South Grafton Cup on July 8 for the lightly-raced Star Of Dubai, who has made a successful comeback after recovering from a tendon injury.
Griffith believes the tendon has been a blessing in disguise for Star Of Dubai, who lines up in the Erin Park Stud Handicap (1300m) at Gunnedah seeking a second successive win after his most recent success over 1300m at Muswellbrook.
Star Of Dubai went amiss after he won over 1700m at Walcha in February of 2011 with a torn tendon sheath.
“The day after he won at Walcha there was filling in the leg from a slight tear,” Griffith said.
“Because he was still a young horse, the vets said tip him out for 12 months and he should be okay.
“We did that and the time away has been the making of the horse.
“He was out in a big paddock at Walcha and was left alone to do his own thing.
“He's come back a bigger and stronger animal.
"He's a lean, mean looking horse."
Since resuming Star Of Dubai has won two of his three starts, taking his record from 10 starts to four wins and six placings.
“His last start win at Muswellbrook was very good,” Griffith said.
“He got to the line very strongly and I've been pleased with his work since.”
Griffith expects the Gunnedah race to be a good test for the four-year-old.
“It's a very strong race, one of the best open handicaps you'll see in the country,” he suggested.
“We're hoping we can look at the South Grafton Cup if he keeps improving."