Joann De Masson says her hard work with The Feral has been worth it and she is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Demasson spent two years nursing The Feral back to race fitness and was encouraged when he ran an eye-catching fourth last month.
First-up over 1200m the son of Bearcat ran on from seventh position and was only 1 ½ lengths astern of in-form galloper Dignity Haze.
“I thought it was a super run,” said Demasson.
“The jockey (Shelby Bowtell) said she had a hard time pulling him up after the race.
“He was steaming home.”
Demasson has a special attachment to The Feral; she broke the horse in and acquired him after a short stint with Perth trainer Vern Brockman.
The son of Bearcat thrived under Demasson’s care, racing on seven occasions for three wins and two placings before suffering a tendon injury.
“They say serious injuries only occur to the good horses,” said Demasson.
“I could see he had potential and that’s why I’ve persevered and stuck with him.”
Despite a successful comeback, The Feral has tested Demasson’s resilience.
“Oh, he is an accident prone horse,” said Demasson.
“He has had a couple of mishaps ahead of his return.
“He got galloped on and had his leg stripped in a trial.
“He then cut his eye in the stable which caused some bleeding.
“A couple of years ago he smashed his leg in a floating accident.
“He keeps finding trouble.”
The challenge for The Feral is overcoming the second-up syndrome and an outside gate, but Demasson is buoyant of his prospects.
The six-year-old, drawn in barrier seven for jockey Misty Bazeley, will tackle the Pettingill Blasting Services Handicap (1400m).
“He is doing everything right and I give him a real chance,” said Demasson.
“I think he is looking for more ground and the step-up too 1400m will suit.”