Great Choice has one final campaign to improve his record as a racehorse before devoting himself full time to a stud career.
By champion sire Redoute’s Choice out of 2004 VRC Oaks winner Hollow Bullet, Great Choice was pigeon-toed as a yearling and trainer Brett Thompson picked him up for $5000 at the Scone sale.
The eight-year-old’s career has been restricted to 12 starts of which he has won five, interspersed with injury problems and serving a small group of mares.
He will will make his first racetrack appearance since February 2016 when he runs in Saturday’s Benchmark 80 Handicap (1000m) at Randwick.
Thompson, who has 40 in work at Gulgong, had contemplated bringing Great Choice back last February but a poor barrier trial diverted him to the breeding shed.
“He’s been working good so the owners decided to give him another go,” Thompson said.
“They’ve had other horses and haven’t been able to find one that can gallop really good. At least we know he can gallop if he fires.”
Great Choice broke his maiden on debut in 2012 and served his first mares later that year before returning at Gosford in 2014.
“He was placed behind Rock Sturdy and another couple of good horses when he was going all right,” Thompson said.
Great Choice is still waiting for the first of his progeny to get to the races but Thompson is confident a batch of yearlings due to be broken in would be running this time next year.
Despite his lay-off Thompson was confident Great Choice would remember how to race under in-form apprentice Rachel King.
“He used to go forward and go too hard so we’ve taken the blinkers off and he’s been relaxing a lot more,” he said.
“Hopefully he’ll sit third or fourth because you don’t want to do all the donkey work early in your first run for two years.
“I think he’ll be very competitive in that field, but he’ll need the run for sure.”