Ride High poised for racetrack return
By Adam Hamilton
Australia's sidelined pacing superstar Ride High is just weeks away from a racetrack return.
His connections will be watching and wondering what might have been when the $1 million Miracle Mile is run at Menangle on Saturday night, but can take some solace from the fact Ride High’s recovered from his tendon issues a raring to go again.
The powerhouse pacer was the toast of Australian harness racing – even more so than Lochinvar Art through June-September last year and many felt he was poised to dominate the sport.
But tendon issues after just the second defeat of his 18-start career at Melton on October 3 sent him to the sidelines and ruled-out marquee races like the Victoria and Hunter Cups and Miracle Mile.
Owner-breeder Peter Gleeson underlined Ride High’s talent and potential when asked about his other star pacer Out To Play’s chances in the Miracle Mile this week.
“Out To Play is a lovely horse, but he’s no Ride High. Ride High isn’t just a level about him, he’s two levels above. He’s just in a different league,” he said.
“I think if you asked Clayton (Tonkin, co-trainer), he’d tell you Ride High would be a 30-yard better horse than Out To Play.”
Ride High is on target in the next month and race soon after.
“I’ve been out to see him work a few times over the past few weeks. He looks amazing. You wouldn’t know he’d had any issues when you look at him,” Gleeson said.
“The last time I spoke timings with Clayton was three or four weeks back and he said the horse was two months away back then, so he’s getting close now.”
Gleeson admitted he’d watching the Miracle Mile with mixed emotions this week.
“We’re proud of Out To Play, but he needed a much better draw (than gate nine) to be any real hope of winning,” he said.
“You can’t help but think what might have been if Ride High was there, seeing how competitive Out To Play is and knowing how much better than him Ride High is.
“Still, it’s great to have Ride High so close again and we’ve just got to hope he stays sound and he gets his chance to go in some of the big races later in the year and to go and try put a super time on the board at Menangle when he’s ready.”
Races like the $60,000 SA Pacing Cup on April 17 and Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle in June are possible early targets for Ride High in his comeback campaign.