Ange McDowell's assessment that "I still think the horse will reach his full potential" will be music to the ears of Lumineer fans as the three-year-old nears his racing return in Friday night's Breeders Crown heat.
The fifth fixture at Bendigo's Lords Raceway, the eighth IRT Breeders Crown heat will be a chance for the Sportswriter colt to feel his way back, having been sidelined since January's VHRSC Victoria Derby when his eight-race winning streak ended.
"After the Derby final he had really bad muscle tears through his back end," McDowell told RSN's Gait Speed. "That was why he ran up the track so badly in the Derby final.
"He's had plenty of time to rehab that afterwards - he's done plenty of swimming, had a bit of time off, but it's just been a really slow, steady build up. I would have liked to have given him a start before the Breeders Crown series, so he had a decent hit-out."
The trainer's expectations are subsequently modest for Friday night's heat, which tips off at 8pm, for which Lumineer has drawn gate seven, directly outside well fancied Bonus Play (gate six) and Ride High (gate five).
"I'd just be happy if he sat in, poked around, just made it through to the next and had a good hit-out," McDowell said. "Obviously I want him to perfom as well as he can, but because we haven't had as much time as we would have liked, if he just races well and makes it through to the next stage he will take a lot away from that run."
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