One time boom trotting mare Armbro Demon is now at All Stars and on the comeback trail having not raced since October 2012. A comeback is possible but nobody around All Stars thinks it will be easy.
"She's certainly different'' as Natalie puts it. "It is hard to say at this stage if she can make it back and show her best but we are trying. And, sometimes, she can be trying too"
Mark and Natalie are not the first to find this out. Her previous trainer, Chris McLeod needed the patience of Job to get her to the races at all. Half way through a workout was often far enough for Armbro Demon or else she would suddenly take off at an acute angle and abandon the track.
What's kept everyone going and is the reason she is at All Stars, is her ability. She has won almost as many races as she has lost and wowed them at the 2011 New Zealand Cup meeting when she won easily in 4.05.4 for the 3200m beating Thanesan. She has won five races from just ten starts and at times she has looked as if she could be anything. Trouble is just that. She can be anything. In the end she was stood down from racing and she has been a long time in the attempt to get her back. Until now the only driver McLeod would trust with the erratic mare was Matthew Williamson.
McLeod himself had her back at the trials last November after a bout of lameness had sidelined her since her last race at Methven just short of two years ago.
But her sheer ability means she has got another chance in the best stable in the land. Not that Mark and Natalie are making any claims at all that that will make a difference.
"It's a challenge and some days I think we are losing. In the meantime we will just keep on and hope for the best" Natalie says.
By David McCarthy (ALL STARS RACING STABLE)