Not since June, 2017, has Fouroeight started a race but on Wednesday night, the six-year-old bay gelding is set to return to action at the Bathurst Paceway.
Fouroeight suffered a fractured pelvis just under a year ago, meaning he had to have a six months off before going back into work.
The gelding has performed well in three trials in as many weeks, collecting two firsts and a second.
Mat Rue will be in the gig on Wednesday night, for the gelding that is trained by his wife Gemma.
Rue said he’s excited to have Fouroeight back racing.
“He seems to be coming back good. The trials have been good, pleasing runs but it’ll be nothing like those conditions on Wednesday night,” he said.
“It’s one thing going good in the trials. He won’t be able to have everything his own way on Wednesday night. He’ll have to work for it.
“He fractured his pelvis about 10 to 11 months ago and he was actually ready to race when it happened. Then he had to have six months completely off. He’s been in work now for about four months.
“It’s just exciting to have him back.”
Fouroeight has drawn barrier eight, the wide gate, which is far from ideal but it’s “not the end of the world” according to Rue.
“He tends to come home really hard in his races. We’ve just got to hope there’s just some genuine speed on him,” he said.
“If everything goes to plan, he’ll be nominated for Boxing Day night in the Shirley Turnbull Memorial.
“Whether he gets a run in that, a lot will depend on Wednesday night. Beyond that, there’s not much in terms of plans.
“We’re just excited to have him back.”
Fouroeight’s last six starts produced four wins, with those four wins all coming in consecutive starts in May and June, back in 2017.
The gelding, which was named in honour of Australian top order batsman Phillip Hughes, has previously won the Gold Chalice Final (Group 3), defying his $75.80 odds to snag the victory.
On Wednesday night, Fouroeight will contest the Oberon Night 18 January Pace (1730 metres), the race starting at 8pm.
The first of the nine race meet is at 6.33pm.