Sport

Top Toowoomba sprinter returning from 20-month racing break

Toowoomba sprinter Azzaland with strapper Allan Miller at trainer Richie Stephenson's stable last year.
Toowoomba sprinter Azzaland with strapper Allan Miller at trainer Richie Stephenson's stable last year. Nev Madsen

CLASSY Toowoomba sprinter Azzaland - almost given up on as a future racing proposition 20 months ago - makes a bold comeback to racing in today's Open Handicap (1200m) at Doomben.

Azzaland is a winner of 12 races from 20 career starts for trainer Richie Stephenson but hasn't been seen since finishing third behind Buffering in the Group Two Victory Stakes  (1200m) at Eagle Farm on April 30 last year.

A lot of his time since has been spent in the paddock recuperating from torn suspensory knee ligament damage.

The gelding has helped prepare for his return with two Clifford Park trial wins.

Stephenson said Azzaland is "ready" for his comeback but whether he can produce a fairytale win is a question only he can answer tomorrow.

"The horse is going well and visibly he is in good shape," Stephenson said yesterday.

"He has raced and beaten better horses than he meets tomorrow.

"But he has a lot of weight and whether at eight years old he can come back as good as he was after a 20-months break is now up to him."

Topics:  azzaland, doomben, richie, stephenson


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