Trainer Murray Baker has warned that Bonneval is not quite the horse she was this time last year as she prepares to return to action at Moonee Valley on Saturday afternoon.
Bonneval, then a four-year-old, started the spring campaign with a win in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes over 1600m and will be back to defender her crown tomorrow. Bonneval is 9/1 to win at Moonee Valley.
However, Baker's charge has been forced to miss the autumn and the trainer is not sure what to expect.
"She's probably not as forward as she was last year," Baker, who trains Bonneval in partnership with Andrew Forsman, said. "She's only had the one trial at home before getting here, our weather has been so wet she's missed a couple but that's the way it is.
"She's been ten months away from the racetrack don't forget but the plus side is she's stronger from four to five and a happy mare."
Bonneval's spring campaign last year ended with a disappointing effort in the Caulfield Cup where the stewards' report listed her as lame in a foreleg.
"I think it's best I don't say anything about that," Baker said diplomatically. "She just jarred up on the track but all I will say is the mare is fine and in good order.
"She galloped nicely on Tuesday and I'm happy with her, she's definitely on the up.
"She's only had 12 starts so she's still got it all ahead of her really. She ricked a fetlock in the autumn so we took that opportunity to do a minor procedure on her throat, it was easier to get it done while she was off and it was just a minor thing."
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