RETURN: Mark Butler’s Mavrick will be put to the test around the Bathurst track as he comes back from a spell. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 100613zbutlerMAVRICK has been through the wars for Bathurst trainer Mark Butler, but he’ll be hoping that’s all behind his gelding for tonight’s Alabar Bloodstock Pace (1,730 metres).
The seven-year-old returns from a two-month spell after picking up an injury, but that has nothing on the fracture that kept him out of the game for over 14 months until April this year.
The comeback trail continues for the former listed quality winning runner as he lines up for career start 36 and aims to keep an impressive winning record of one in every three starts.
“He won his last start, which was about two months ago, but he hurt himself. Whatever he does in this race is definitely going to be an improvement,” Butler said.
“I don’t really tell my drivers what to do, I trust that JT [John O’Shea] will do what’s right. There’s a fair bit of speed on his inside so we could hold him up.”
Mavrick goes out from gate six in the eight-horse field for the night’s top-graded and highest prize money ($7,000) race, for C4 to C7 entrants.
The search continues for the peak form that Butler’s Aces N Sevens out of Shooting Blanks gelding had at the end of 2012, which culminated in a Country Series Final win.
There were signs prior to his latest injury that he was making progress towards that goal with a couple of runner-up finishes interstate and a dominant win in his latest start.
“He won six races in a row at one stage there and he found himself going from a C0 to a C6 in the space of just a couple of months but then he hurt himself. It’s going to take a while to get him back to that level again, but I believe we’ve got him back to a competitive level again,” Butler said.
“He loves the bigger tracks and he’s probably one of a few of mine who goes really well at Menangle. We took him up to Queensland in the winter and he had some cracking runs up there too.”
Ashlee Siejka’s Medal Of Honour, though a little out of form of late, could be a threat from gate three while stable mate Packnplenty on his immediate outside carries some nice form. Both also have starts on the new track under their belt.
Bathurst chances are rife through the field with Nathan Hurst carrying three hopes in the race, Classic Croupier, Tulhurst Candy and Major Gambler.
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