Humidor pleasing Maher in spring build-up

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August 5, 2019 - 05:15 PM

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The horse who got closest to Winx in any of the champion's four Cox Plate wins is pleasing his new trainer as he continues his comeback from an injury lay-off.

Multiple Group One winner Humidor took another step towards a return in the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 31 when he went around in a 990m-barrier trial at Cranbourne on Monday.

The gelding, who finished a long neck second to Winx in her third Cox Plate in 2017, has not raced since he finished third last year behind Winx and Benbatl.

He came out of the Cox Plate with a suspensory injury and is now trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace after Darren Weir's disqualification earlier this year.

The seven-year-old was given an easy time by Damian Lane on Monday, finishing eighth in his heat after having an 800m jump-out last week at Caulfield.

"I couldn't be happier with him," Maher said.

Maher said Humidor was likely to have another Cranbourne trial before the Memsie, a race he won last year.

"The way his prep is coming along, it's just been ever so gradual and all the riders that probably know him better than I do say he feels great," Maher said.

"He seems to be in a really good rhythm and seems to be a happy horse.

"I'm very comfortable where he is at and he's hopefully working towards a WS Cox Plate. There's still a lot of water to go under the bridge, but he seems in good order."

Finishing just ahead of Humidor in Monday's trial was stablemate Kenedna whose previous campaign included Group One wins in the Coolmore Legacy Stakes in Sydney and the Doomben Cup in Brisbane.

Maher was pleased with how Kenedna finished off her trial and has pencilled in Saturday week's P B Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield for her return.

He said Kenedna was on a Caulfield Cup path, with the Feehan Stakes, Underwood Stakes and Caulfield Stakes on the agenda leading to the 2400m handicap.

Three-year-old Dubious narrowly won his 990m-trial and Maher said he was rapt with the colt who will resume in the Vain Stakes on Saturday week at Caulfield on a path to the Group One Golden Rose in Sydney third-up.