Gelded Skyward set for Bendigo return

Skyward heads to the barrier before the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. (George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos)

Having held spring aspirations for imported galloper Skyward, trainers Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young have gone back to the drawing board ahead of the stayer’s return in the Listed Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo on Saturday.

With four wins on the board in France, Skyward was purchased with the dream of winning last year’s Melbourne Cup.

But a lacklustre performance in the Geelong Cup, fifth behind Steel Prince, Melbourne Cup plans were abandoned with Busuttin and Young set their sights on the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the final day of Cup week.

Skyward finished last under Glen Boss, a run that Busuttin described as “terrible”.

“Bossy got off him and said he felt fine, he felt great, but there was no petrol in the tank,” Busuttin said.

“We gave him a spell, elected to geld him after talking to John Messara and the team as there was no upside in keeping him a colt.

“He’s trialled up well, albeit against inferior opposition, but he’s pleased us with what we’ve seen.”

Busuttin hopes Bendigo’s surface continues to improve.

It was in the heavy range on Wednesday, a Soft7 on Thursday, but Busuttin would like further improvement.

“His form suggests he doesn’t like it wet and what I’ve seen of him says he doesn’t like it wet,” Busuttin said.

“If we don’t run there’s an open mile in two weeks’ time (April 10) if we have to hold up with him.”

Stablemate Inverloch will take his place though and may back-up into the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday week, a race he won last year.

“He’s come back and trialled up well,” Busuttin said.

“We went a bit deep into the spring with him. He needs cut in the ground, so he’ll run on Saturday.”

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