O'Malley down for return in Carlyon Stakes

MELBOURNE Aug 17 2016

After a false start, O'Malley is set to make his long awaited reappearance at Moonee Valley.

The lightly raced sprinter was supposed to run at Flemington at the first meeting of the new season, but instead will line up in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) on Saturday.

It will be O'Malley's first start since February 2015.

The gelding was preparing for a late winter campaign in 2015 when he fractured his off-fore knee and needed two screws inserted.

Veterinary opinion at the time was O'Malley would be a 50-50 chance to make it back to the racetrack.

Trainer Enver Jusufovic persevered, although there were a few minor scares along the way.

He nearly drowned in the Cranbourne horse pool and was pulled up during a morning work-out on the synthetic track at Cranbourne.

But O'Malley overcame those problems and Jusufovic had the gelding ready to resume in a 1000m race at Flemington on August 6, but decided to wait for another day.

"The track got upgraded to a good 4 and Flemington can get a bit hard," Jusufovic said.

"I just didn't want to take the risk.

"They're forecasting 10 mils of rain on Friday. As a rule Moonee Valley is not as hard and there should be a bit of give in it."

Jusufovic said O'Malley had a solid gallop at Cranbourne on Monday to prepare for Saturday but goes into the race ring-rusty.

But importantly for Jusufovic O'Malley races well fresh and is a winner over the course and distance.

"His fitness levels are really good but he will derive a lot improvement from the run," Jusufovic said.

"I'm not feeling that confident but I can't do any more on the training track with him.

"He's ready to go."

Ideally Jusufovic would have preferred an easier race than a Listed contest for O'Malley's return but said there were not a lot of options.

But he was pleased with drawing barrier 10.

"I prefer to be out than in," he said.

"There should be good speed in the race and that will give him every opportunity to finish off."



Craig Brennan - AAP

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