Day At The Track

Comeback pacer's unassuming return

05:49 PM 02 Oct 2014 NZDT
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Bonavista Bay 1.jpg
Bonavista Bay makes his return on Saturday night

Once touted as harness racing’s next superstar, Bonavista Bay will make an unassuming racing return at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night.

Under the care of astute Victorian training partners Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, Bonavista Bay won 14 of his first 20 starts, with three seconds also to his credit.

His victories included Melton Plate, Golden Nugget, Vicbred Final and Ford McInerney Classic.

Sent to Western Australia by owner Bob Proberts halfway through his four-year-old campaign, Bonavista Bay was transferred to trainer Mike Reed, where he continued to race in style before being struck down with leg problems.

After two-and-a-half years off the scene, the son of Rustler Hanover had two starts at Gloucester Park before again going sore.

Following an 18-month stint at stud, Bonavista Bay was sent to leading New South Wales mentor Belinda McCarthy in a bid to resurrect his career.

“He has come along quite well,” McCarthy said. “He’s trialled well and is standing up to it all, so we are hoping for the best.

“You can never tell with horses which have been injured for so long like him, but so far so good.

“He was sent to us so he can race on Menangle, which should be better on his legs given the wider turns.”

In his McCarthy debut, Bonavista Bay will face off against reigning Inter Dominion champion Beautide, speed machine, Suave Stuey Lombo, and proven campaigner Seel N Print.

On top of that, the nine-year-old has drawn awkwardly in barrier six over the flying mile, which is expected to be run in 1:50 or better.

“It’s not going to be easy for him,” McCarthy declared. “Given the class he has come back at, there are no easy options.

“This start is all about getting him back to race fitness, and more importantly, seeing how he pulls up.”

  • PAUL COURTS

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