McLachlan Phelan Ready for Spring comeback.
Phelan Ready beat the best juveniles of his generation to win the Golden Slipper so it might seem strange that trainer Jason McLachlan has always looked forward to the day the star colt turned three.
But then, McLachlan figured his father Bruce would be beside him to see it.
"Dad and I always used to say,`We can’t wait `til he’s three, we can’t wait `til he’s three’ and then you see what he did as a two-year-old," McLachlan said.
"It’s just going to be hard not having Dad there to see him."
Just two months after the Magic Millions winner gave the father and son training team their biggest thrill by claiming the Slipper, Bruce McLachlan died suddenly of a suspected heart attack.
On Saturday, Jason McLachlan will make an emotional journey back to Rosehill where Phelan Ready will resume in the Premiere Stakes.
He has not set foot on the track since April when he and his father revelled in the thrill of winning the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
"It’s going to be an odd feeling to go back to Rosehill," McLachlan said.
"The last time I was there we won the Golden Slipper.
"But life goes on doesn’t it."
Phelan Ready has not raced since missing a place in the Group One AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes won by Manhattan Rain.
It was a rough-house race for the Slipper winner who McLachlan said was "nearly put over the fence".
He went straight to the spelling paddock after it and enjoyed an eight-week break before returning to work for a spring campaign.
McLachlan has no qualms starting him against the older horses in the Premiere (1200m), saying Phelan Ready would have had to carry too much weight under the handicap conditions of The Run To The Rose (1300m) for three-year-olds.
He will be kept to his own age after Saturday with the Group One Golden Rose (1400m) on August 29 and Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October his targets.
"He’ll have two Grand Finals," McLachlan said.
"We’ve set him for the Golden Rose second-up so we’ll get him ready for that and then three weeks later he will run in the Guineas Prelude and then the Caulfield Guineas."
Phelan Ready has 51.5kg in the Premiere and with his Slipper-winning jockey Brad Rawiller unable to make that weight, Chris Munce will warm the saddle.
He is one of four three-year-olds entered for the Group Two sprint along with Melbourne colt Porsched and the Jason Coyle-trained pair of Schipper and Trusting.
By Mandy Cottell