Big Mal given the all clear for Spring Campaign

Mark Kavanagh is getting a feel for the spring already with Cox Plate winner Maldivian back in pre-training.

Maldivian wins Race 5, the Yalumba Caulfield Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday 13 October 2007, ridden by Michael Rodd, trained by Mark Kavanagh.  Photo by Bronwen Healy The rising seven-year-old got a veterinary clearance to resume work after scans of his nearside suspensory ligament came back picture perfect last Thursday.
“He got the all clear and we’re optimistic he will take part in the spring,” Kavanagh said.
“He is in pre-training now and we will just see how he goes before we make any plans about where he kicks off.”
Kavanagh said the suspensory injury wasn’t a tear and was better categorised as a strain.
Maldivian got injured after an all-the-way win over Alamosa and Theseo when resuming in the Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8.
It was his first run since October when, with blinkers back on and aided by a clever frontrunning ride from Michael Rodd, he landed the Cox Plate by a length from Zipping with Samantha Miss third.
The Cox Plate is again the obvious target for Maldivian but he will face strong competition from younger stable star Whobegotyou who is now also in pre-training after a luckless Sydney carnival.
The rising four-year-old had an interrupted run when third to Vision And Power and Black Piranha in the Doncaster Mile and was spelled after he finished ninth to Pompeii Ruler in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
An exciting galloper with five wins from 13 starts, his backmarker racing style contrasts with that which has brought so much success to Maldivian.
Whobegotyou’s most notable performances were last spring when he romped home in the Caulfield Guineas before a fast-finishing second to Rebel Raider in the Victoria Derby.