Racing: Maluckyday prepares to make comeback

Maluckyday is rated an outside chance in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield today.
Maluckyday is rated an outside chance in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield today.

Top stayer on target to begin another assault on Australia's most famous race.

When it comes to horses with staying talent, Maluckyday's co-trainer Michael Hawkes has no doubts where the comeback galloper fits in.

"He's one of the best horses I've ever touched," Hawkes said as Maluckyday prepares to make his long-awaited comeback from illness in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield today.

"There's been some good ones. But when you're talking stayers, he's the best stayer we've ever had.

"What he did in that preparation [in the spring of 2010] to go from a Hawkesbury maiden to running second in the Melbourne Cup at just his ninth start was pretty special."

The 6-year-old is raced by Nick Moraitis who experienced the highest of highs with another son of Zabeel, Might And Power, winner of the 1997 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Maluckyday, who beat all but Americain in the Melbourne Cup two years ago, is on the comeback trail to begin another assault on Australia's most famous race in the group two weight-for-age contest.

Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne, said everyone in the team was excited to have Maluckyday back.

Maluckyday was restricted to just one start last season in early September before he was struck down with pneumonia.

He has fought his way back and the Hawkes team are hoping for an encouraging return but approaching the race with caution.

"It's been a very long road for him," Hawkes said on Thursday.

"Horses of his ability, they don't lose their ability overnight.

"He's obviously had pneumonia and we're hoping he comes back. He's done everything right, the vets have cleared him, but we won't really know until he's put under race pressure.

"He looks great though and we're all looking forward to it."

Maluckyday will be joined in the Memsie by fellow Melbourne Cup aspirant Niwot, who himself has overcome adversity to succeed on the racetrack.

"He's an old marvel that is on the Melbourne Cup path as well," Hawkes said.

"He's come back and he's well. He takes a while to get going and his goal is the Melbourne Cup."

Niwot finished eighth in last year's Melbourne Cup and won the group one Sydney Cup in April.

Maluckyday will be ridden by Vlad Duric in the Memsie, while Niwot has Dean Holland aboard.

Perth galloper Luckygray is favourite for the Memsie with TAB Sportsbet at $4.20 ahead of dual group one winner Sincero at $4.50.

Maluckyday is at $31 with Niwot at $81.


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