Anniversary Vase comeback for King Magnus

Trainers Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock are content with the decision they made to extend the career of King Magnus who makes his return at Sandown.

The Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) on Saturday will be the first outing for King Magnus in 12 months.

Griffiths said a year off the scene could turn into another two or three on the racetrack for the gelding who turns eight in August.

King Magnus last raced at Flemington over 1700m 12 months ago, finishing sixth over 1700m.

“His old legs got a bit of arthritis, and he jarred up quite badly after Anzac Day last year,” Griffiths said.

“Rather than try and race him all year round we thought we would give him a long break. If we had given him a normal break, it would put him into that summer-autumn carnival time.

“He’s too qualified for summer and the autumn carnival is too hard, so we thought we’d give him a long spell and bring him back for Winter Championship.

“At the end of the day, racing in winter, he should be right.”

As it turned out, last spring was a wet one and Griffiths and de Kock could have rolled the dice and brought him back, but for longevity they stuck to their plan.

On the evidence shown so far, King Magnus enjoyed the extended break and Griffiths is looking forward to the gelding’s first-up run.

“He’s had three nice jump-outs,” Griffiths said.

“He’s been trialling against Marabi and Passive Aggressive and all these wonderful sprinting horses and based on that he should give us a good run.

“You should never get too excited first-up when they’ve been off the scene for 12 months in a 1400-metre race, but he has been going well.”

Griffiths said the stable was planning a Winter Championship campaign through the winter months and contemplating campaigning him through the spring.

Ultimately, they would like to try and claim another Cranbourne Cup, a race King Magnus won in 2021.

“Because he’s an older horse and coming off a long break and not growing any more, we’d like to try and race him through the winter,” Griffiths said.

“Maybe look to the Toorak Handicap and those sorts of races in the spring and then hopefully look at running again in the Cranbourne Cup.”

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