By Glenn Davis
Trainer Stu Kendrick is hopeful Eric The Eel can resurrect his interstate spring campaign when the gelding makes an overdue comeback at Doomben on Saturday.
Eric The Eel was due to make a low-key return at Doomben last week but Kendrick wasn’t happy with a blood count and scratched him.
The son of Olympic Glory was nominated for two races at Doomben, a Benchmark 70 race over 1350 metres and the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1200m).
Kendrick chose to run Eric The Eel in the longer race against stablemate I Dream Of Green and has booked apprentice Baylee Nothdurft.
Eric The Eel was beaten less than one length in the 1200-metre trial at the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday, his third hit-out since finishing fifth in the Group 1 J J Atkins at Eagle Farm in June.
I Dream Of Green is chasing a hat-trick of wins after impressive victories at Ipswich and Doomben earlier this month.
“I Dream Of Green is flying at the moment and will be up close whereas Eric The Eel will have to haul him in,” Kendrick said.
“It was nothing serious with Eric The Eel, but his blood count just wasn’t right so it wasn’t worth the risk running him last week.
“He’s fine now and he trialed well at the Sunshine Coast this week.”
Kendrick had hoped to send Eric The Eel to Sydney for Saturday’s Group 3 Gloaming Stakes and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on October 12 before the three-year-old’s setback.
“There’s still a chance he’ll go to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas but he’d have to win to justify going down,” Kendrick said.
“If not, we can always look at the summer series here or wait until the Sydney and Brisbane carnival next year.
“He’s eligible for the Magic Millions Guineas but I don’t think he’s a 1400 metre horse and is looking for 2000 metres or more.
“The Australian Derby next autumn and the Queensland Derby are options.”
Eric The Eel was a gangly immature type when Kendrick bought him for a paltry $6,000 at the Magic Millions QTIS June sale last year.
Since then he had gone to return his owners 10 times his purchase price with two wins and as many placings from seven starts.
Racing Queensland webnews September 27