The 2018 Sun Met runner-up Last Winter looks set to make his long awaited international debut at Sandown on Wednesday evening.
Now trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the Khaya Stables owned 6yo Western Winter entire has been off the track for 20 months and has run up multiple voyager miles on his travels to Mauritius, England, Dubai and then back to England.
And the lightly raced star, once the highest rated SA galloper on the Longines International Rankings, has had little luck along the way. He jarred himself on the off fore while in quarantine in Mauritius. After arriving at Mike de Kock in Dubai in November 2018, he appeared well on track for the DWC but then jarred himself on the near fore at the beginning of January this year.
Lady Christine Laidlaw of Khaya Stables then made the decision to move Last Winter to Sir Michael Stoute at Newmarket.
Dean Kannemeyer said he was thrilled that the talented athlete would be back on track.
“I was chatting to Dr John Mcveigh recently. He had the opportunity to have a look at Last Winter in the flesh a few weeks ago and was very happy with him and says that he was moving well. It’s a tough little race and he has been off for a while, and it will be great to see him come through it well.”
Last Winter only raced six times here, winning his first four on the trot. He was then stepped up in the Gr2 Premier Trophy in December 2017, where he was beaten a nostril by a clever Gavin Lerena ride on the Bill Prestage handicapper, Milton.
His sixth outing came in the Sun Met, where he made up lengths in the final 150m under Piere Strydom to he beaten a half length by subsequent SA Horse Of The Year, Oh Susanna.
Last Winter runs at 16h25 in the Listed Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes over a mile.
He will be ridden by Ryan Moore.