The Inferno to line up in The Country Discovery

Trainer Cliff Brown says The Inferno is in the right frame of mind ahead of his first-up run at Geelong.

The Inferno will run for a second time on Good Friday when he lines up in $500,000 The Country Discovery (1100m).

The gelding contested the inaugural running of the race at Sale last year, finishing seventh behind In The Boat who is an opponent on Friday.

Brown said 2022 was a wipe-out for The Inferno who was out of sorts following his performance in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington when ‘flattened’ early in the race.

A former Singapore galloper, The Inferno showed his class winning the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in September 2021.

Spelled after finishing last in the Group 1 Champions Sprint (1200m) at Flemington last November, Brown is relieved to see The Inferno back and enjoying his work.

“He’s come back really good,” Brown said.

“You go back to last autumn and he ran in the Lightning which was going to be hard to win, but he got completely flattened in that race and I don’t think I ever had him right from that point on,” Brown said.

“I thought I did, but always in the back of the mind I was not convinced.

“Then over the spring he just kept hitting wet tracks, wet tracks, wet tracks, so nothing flowed the whole way through.

“He had a really long break, a great break. He looks well, his work has been good and I’m putting the blinkers on him.”

The Inferno had two jump-outs last month at Mornington to prepare for his return.

The gelding has been ridden handier in those jump-outs, something Brown hopes The Inferno will be able to use to his advantage this campaign.

“He’s done everything we have asked of him to do and as far as his feet, his looks and his wellbeing, I genuinely feel that I have him in as good a spot as I have had him for a long time,” Brown said.

Damian Lane, who rode The Inferno in his solitary Australian win, will ride the gelding at Geelong.

“He’s great Damian, but you can’t always get him when you want him,” Brown said.

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