Singing ready for Canterbury tune-up

After almost two years out of racing, one-time Caulfield Cup prospect Singing is set to return to the track.

Singing was heading for the 2014 Melbourne spring carnival after finishing second behind subsequent Melbourne Cup winner and fellow Australian Bloodstock-owned Protectionist in a Group Two race in Hamburg.

But injury kept him out of racing for almost a year before he returned a winner in Baden in June 2015.

He had two more starts in Germany, unplaced efforts in Group One and Two races, before injury problems re-emerged and kept him sidelined since August last year.

The Kris Lees-trained entire will make his Australian debut in the 1900m benchmark handicap at Canterbury on Saturday.

“He had a stack of ability early days but as to whether he reclaims that form we’ve just got to wait and see now,” Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett said.

“If he was to race well then you could start to think of aiming him at a better race but you’re just a bit reluctant to do that until you see them back racing.”

Singing will carry 60kg after apprentice jockey Koby Jennings’ 2kg claim.

“He’s being asked to carry a weight on the ability he had a couple of years ago,” Lovett said.

“He’s certainly not the horse he was when he got that rating.”

Lovett said he would be disappointed if Singing did not run well, but was sceptical because the horse had spent so much time out of racing.

Meanwhile, Protectionist’s performance in the Group One Grosser Pries in Berlin on August 14 will determine whether he heads to Australia to try to win a second Melbourne cup.

It will be the first time Protectionist has competed at the top level in Europe and he will be coming off a strong victory in a Group Two race in Hamburg on July 3.

“If he were to win that then we certainly wouldn’t be scared to set sights on either coming back for a Melbourne Cup or running in a better race in Europe,” Lovett said.

“He just looks like he’s got his action back and the confidence to go with it.”


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