Cracked skull hasn't stopped Lady Melksham

Cracked skull hasn't stopped Lady MelkshamA cracked skull has made for a painful road back to the races for Lady Melksham who will be trying to capture her second successive Cockram Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.

The five-year-old hit her head in the barriers at the start of the Alinghi Stakes last October and finished a distant last.

A vet diagnosed the injury the following day after trainer John Sadler found the mare’s feed bin full of blood and she was rested until March to let the injury mend.

In her two subsequent starts, Lady Melksham scored a first-up win in fillies and mares grade but then disappointed in open company at Flemington in April when she finished second last in a field of nine.

“(I think) she is back to her best but we won’t know for sure until we go full bore on Saturday,” Sadler said.

Sadler concedes Saturday’s Cockram Stakes (1200m) has attracted a handy field with at least 10 chances in the race.

The Michael Moroney-trained Octavia, which streeted the field at Caulfield at her latest outing, is the early favourite at $3.10 for the Group Three feature.

Lady Melksham, to be ridden by Glen Boss, is on the second line of betting at $4.80.

Boss rode Lady Melksham in a trial at Flemington last Friday and his reports back to Sadler were positive.

“He said she was going as well as ever,” Sadler said.

Sadler expects Lady Melksham, who has been set for the 1200 metre race, to be ridden positively from her rails draw.

She is likely to follow a similar path to last spring with next month’s Group Two Let’s Elope Stakes, in which she was fifth to Zurella last year, next on the agenda.