One of the most-discussed runners in racing, Tom Melbourne, will make his return to the track when he steps out in the Listed Grandstand Cup (1500m) at Ascot in Western Australia on Saturday.
Now under the guidance of Lindsey Smith, Tom Melbourne will be looking to win his first race since he triumphed at Randwick in January 2019.
“He’s ready and if 90 per cent of the real Tom Melbourne shows up, he’ll be right in it,” Smith said.
“He trialed really nicely and I was going to trial him again over 1450m, but when I saw they weren’t at Lark Hill we decided to throw in a nomination for this race and it looks like he’ll get the race to suit.
“He also gets in so well with the weights so we’re looking forward to what to seeing what he does.”
Notably full of himself on race day, Smith believes the heavy sand will be the key to a successful campaign.
“He absolutely loves the heavy sand and it takes the edge off him,” Smith said.
“It’s funny watching it at home, he definitely thinks he’s retired and on a holiday in Perth, so we’ll see what he’s like when he realises he’s back at the races.”
With the Coronavirus pandemic affecting racing jurisdictions and changes occurring daily, Smith didn’t rule out that Tom Melbourne may stay in Western Australia.
“We have races planned for him here in Melbourne, but we’ll just take it day by day and see what happens with all the rules and restrictions coming in,” he said.
“At least we have the option of keeping him in Perth and finding races for him if he is unable to travel.”
Black Heart Bart headed back to Western Australia on Friday and will be set for the winter weight-for-age treble of the Belmont Sprint, Hyperion and Strickland Stakes.