It hasn’t been the absolute dream spring carnival for longtime horse owner Lloyd Walker but he will be hoping things can peak again at Flemington on Saturday.
The Dubbo businessman missed out on the chance to be part of the Melbourne Cup after Humidor, Libran, and Brimham Rocks all missed out on a spot.
He had earlier seen Brave Smash, another horse he parts owns, run a disappointing eighth in The Everest at Randwick.
Brave Smash, a horse Walker is particularly fond of, turned things around and scored victory in the $1 million Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley last month and now the Darren Weir-trained gelding is set for a start in Saturday’s VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) on Stakes Day at Flemington.
The win in the Manikato was a welcome return to form after The Everest effort but the negative for Weir, Walker, and the rest of the connections is absence of Hugh Bowman.
The Dunedoo product and leading jockey was handed a 35-meeting suspension after being charged for three separate incidents relating to his Melbourne Cup ride on Marmelo.
Bowman was due to ride Brave Smash again, having ridden the six-year-old in his past four starts.
Craig Williams will instead be in the saddle on Saturday when Brave Smash takes on the likes of two-time Everest winner Redzel, Santa Ana Lane, and Kementari.
Walker will also have Libran in action on Saturday. The Chris Waller-trained gelding will contest the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
Racing starts at 12.15pm.