By Glenn Davis
The long-awaited return of promising galloper The Candy Man headlines the midweek Doomben meeting on Wednesday.
The Candy Man will have his first start since incurring a barrier ban following his sensational last to first win at the Sunshine Coast on January 6.
The Barry Baldwin-trained five-year-old stood flat-footed in the barriers and missed the start by a conservative 10 lengths before unleashing a Bernborough-like finish to win going away by one length in an 1800-metre Class 1.
The Candy Man returns for his first run since the Sunshine Coast victory and has passed a barrier certificate to take his place in the Class Three Plate (1350m).
The Candy Man was also an acceptor for the Class Two Handicap (1200m) but drew widely compared to his rails draw in the higher grade.
“He’s been back in work for two months and he’s had plenty of practice out of the barriers,” Baldwin said.
“If he jumps, he’ll be very competitive.
“He’s had a trial and ran second and it was a good effort.”
Baldwin hopes to use the midweek restricted race as a launching pad to the Brisbane winter carnival for The Candy Man.
“If he runs well, he’ll head to the winter races,” he said.
“Both Michael Cahill, who’s riding him tomorrow and Damian Browne think he’s crying out for ground.
“At this stage I’m hoping he’ll get out to 2000 metres.”
The Candy Man has only started six times for two wins and three placings in his career which was seriously disrupted by a well-documented jaw injury.
“He broke his jaw in several places in a stable accident wearing a bridle and he had a nine-hour operation,” Baldwin said.
“He had two operations on the jaw including one to fix his smashed teeth and still races with seven plates in his jaw.”
“He then had a third operation when he hurt a hind leg when he was recuperating.”
The Candy Man is raced by popular owner “Lucky” Pippos, whose brother, the late George Pippos was a part-owner of the great Gunsynd.
Gunsynd won 29 races including all four of the nation's premier miles and a Cox Plate.
Racing Queensland webnews April 2