Gentleman Roy on the comeback trail

Gentleman Roy makes his return to racing at Caulfield after 11 months away.

Gentleman Roy.
Gentleman Roy. Picture: Racing Photos

Along with Mr Brightside, Gentleman Roy was one galloper that helped establish the Lindsay Park brand after the departure of David Hayes and then Tom Dabernig. 

Now in the care of Ben, Will and J D Hayes, Mr Brightside has been the mainstay of the stable with multiple Group 1 wins while Gentleman Roy worked through the grades, as Mr Brightside did, early in his career. 

Gentleman Roy was first past the post in a Group 1 contest at Sandown in February last year, only to lose the race on protest. 

The seven-year-old makes his return to racing after an 11-month absence at Caulfield on Saturday when he runs in the Selangor Turf Club Handicap (1400m). 

Ben Hayes said he and his brothers had been preparing Gentleman Roy for a tilt at last year's Melbourne Spring Carnival, but when the gelding failed to come up, they elected to give him time. 

"He never really went out with a bad injury," Hayes said. 

"He had some bone bruising and just needed some time after a couple of big campaigns and was feeling the effects of that. 

"We wanted to really look after him. 

"He's had four trials leading into this race, so hopefully his fitness levels are, but we are aware that he has been a long time off the scene. 

"His action is great and he's enthusiastic as he has shown in his trials." 

Hayes said Gentleman Roy was likely to have only two or three starts before he is freshened with a spring campaign in mind. 

The early weight-for-age races like the P B Lawrence Stakes and the Memsie Stakes, both over 1400m at Caulfield, could be on the agenda. 

"The whole idea is to give him a couple of runs and put him away and have him ready for the spring," Hayes said. 

"He's a relegated Group 1 winner, so at his best, he's very good. 

"The idea is to get a bit of match fitness into him now and freshen him for the spring. 

"These older horses can get unfit very quick, and it can take a while to get them fit again."