The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Race Club’s opening meeting of the season can’t arrive quickly enough for trainer, Gary Bowen.
Bowen is hoping to land an early strike and pinch a morale-boosting victory with his sprinter, Private Business.
The Key Business gelding made a flying start to his campaign last season before a sudden drop off in form.
He posted two wins and a third placing from his opening three starts and was being touted as an early Hannans Handicap (1400m) contender.
But high expectations were quickly doused after he failed to figure in the money at his next seven appearances.
Bowen says there were legitimate reasons for Private Business’ failures and he is hoping to erase those disappointing memories on Saturday.
The six-year-old tackles the Onsite Hire Leaders Sprint (1100m) and warmed up for his return with an encouraging 1000m trial win.
“He wrenched a joint and that’s why his form tapered off last year,” said Bowen.
“It’s my fault because I tried to patch him up and get him through it.
“Because we race seasonally I tried to manage it but it didn’t work out.
“There was only four in his trial but I liked the way he went to the line.
“He is going very well and looks in great shape at the moment.
“I think he is the best horse in the race but he might need it a bit longer.
“I want to see him go around safely and if he runs a good race I will be more than happy.”
Private Business will race with the addition of blinkers and in a field of nine jumps from barrier four.
He will be in the hands of Natasha Faithfull who has been on top in four of the gelding’s seven victories.
Top trainer Helen Harding holds strong representation with two entrants: Saxon Coast and Donnyonetime.
Donnyonetime has race fitness after an Esperance campaign netted one win and a runner-up placing.
Saxon Coast, who tied with Kronfeld in last season’s Kalgoorlie Horse of the Year, races first up without a trial.
Sass’N’Ping embarks on his return and on last season’s four wins will also attract strong admirers.