Liberty chasing second Christmas Stakes

Lucky Liberty
Michelle Payne returns to the mounting yard on Lucky Liberty after winning Ian McLeod Christmas Stakes, at Caulfield Racecourse on December 26, 2016 in Caulfield, Australia.(Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Lucky Liberty is back chasing a second Christmas Stakes at Caulfield with his trainer Henry Dwyer confident the gelding is the soundest he has been for a long time.

The six-year-old returns in Tuesday’s 1200m-sprint from his latest operation to remove bone chips from a knee.

Lucky Liberty underwent his latest operation following the Group One Goodwood at Morphettville in May when he finished down the track behind Vega Magic.

Unbeaten at his first three starts, Lucky Liberty eventually went on to contest the 2015 Australian Guineas, finishing well back behind Wandjina.

It was after that run problems beset Lucky Liberty including a fractured shoulder requiring an 18-month absence from the racetrack.

Lucky Liberty started his latest comeback on the water walker to keep the pressure off his legs and when the time was right was transferred to Dwyer’s beachside property at St Leonards.

“He can work on the soft sand at the beach and do some work on hill at the farm down there,” Dwyer said.

“The soft sand down there is great for horses with issues as they don’t have to work fast but get the same benefit from it.

“He’s in really good order.

“He’s probably sounder now than before he did his most recent knee chips so the operation has obviously been a success.

“He’s come through it all and we’ve still got a racehorse so we’ll keep him going as long as he’s sound.”

Dwyer says he’s mindful of Lucky Liberty’s leg problems and has him around 80 per cent fit for his first-up assignment.

He ran second to fellow Christmas Stakes aspirant Oak Door in a Colac trial on Monday and Dwyer said the gelding came through the outing well.

Dwyer would like to keep Lucky Liberty in work for another summer run, but would not hesitate to send the gelding back to the water walker at Rockmount for a freshen-up with a view to the Adelaide carnival in May.

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