Gentle giant Arki will complete one of racing’s most remarkable comebacks if he can win his first open company race.
Arki will be aiming to make it five straight wins since returning from a two-year injury enforced lay-off when he tackles Saturday’s Open Hcp (2030m) at Doomben.
Victory would hold a special place for trainer Kelly Doughty and her husband Gary.
Arki won two restricted class races as a three-year- old and was competitive in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate and Group Three Grand Prix.
The Doughtys felt they had a promising stayer on their hands as they believed Arki was about six months away from maturity.
But then disaster struck.
“He bowed a tendon and we put him in a paddock for 12 months to see what would happen,” Kelly doughty said.
“He seemed right to resume training and then he kicked out and injured a pedal bone so badly he had another long lay-off.”
Arki finally made it back to the racetrack on November 26 last year and won at the Gold Coast and has since won at Eagle Farm and twice at the Sunshine Coast.
“Just to have him back racing is wonderful. A lot of love and attention has gone into him. We are continually checking his legs,” Doughty said.
“But he deserves an open company win having been through so much.”
Gary Doughty, a Group One-winning jockey who retired because of injury, bred Arki and has a special place for him in his heart.
“He is giant of a horse but just a lovely bloke.” he said.
“I was lucky enough to get a free service to the stallion Aussie Rules and I sent my well-performed mare Natural Glamour to him.”
“The result is Arki and it is great to breed as well as part-own a horse that tries like him.”
Meanwhile, Kelly Doughty has elected to claim on sprinter Flamboyer in the Open Hcp (1350m).
Apprentice Lani Fancourt will claim two kilograms, reducing Flamboyer’s weight to 56kg.
“He had 58kg and I felt the claim would give him a better chance,” she said.
“He has raced well at the Doomben 1350 metres but is yet to win at it.”
Flamboyer was narrowly beaten into second place at his last start in the Sunshine Coast Cup when ridden by Jeff Lloyd.