Price hoping for a Fantastic autumn

Trainer Mick Price is keeping his options open with Light Fantastic who is back in pre-training for the autumn.

Mick Price2 Price said the four-year-old, who was a top fancy for the Cox Plate early in the spring, had bloomed after recovering from stomach ulcers which prematurely curtailed his recent campaign.

"He turned the corner while in the paddock and bloomed," Price said.

"He has put on weight and done really well."

Light Fantastic has won five of his seven starts and last Tuesday was transferred to Rockmount, a thoroughbred pre-training facility in the Strathbogie Ranges at Longwood, 90 minutes north east of Melbourne.

Price said the plan was to bring Light Fantastic back to Caulfield next month.

"He will do a bit of trotting and cantering there and come back into the stable pre-Christmas," Price said.

He said a program would be mapped out with a focus on the feature sprints, but he hasn’t ruled out stretching him to 1600 metres again in the autumn.

The winner of the Australian Guineas (1600m) in March at just his fourth start, Light Fantastic only raced three times in the spring.

He stretched his winning record to five from five with a first-up victory over Weekend Hussler in the J J Liston Stakes in August.

However, Weekend Hussler beat him at his next two starts over 1600 and 1800 metres when Light Fantastic finished fourth in the Makybe Diva Stakes and second last in the Underwood Stakes.

Price said those performances may have been inconclusive as Light Fantastic was diagnosed with stomach ulcers after the Underwood and immediately spelled.

"Shorter races are the go but if you say his bad runs are because of stomach ulcers then it certainly doesn’t rule out going to 1600 metres again," Price said.

By Robert Windmill