Money Maher’s return from an extended injury layoff moved one step closer after his second trial hit out at Lark Hill on Monday.

The richly talented four-year-old travelled wide in his 950m heat, but finished strongly to be clear of Diamond Tonique and Undisclosed at the post.

The three-time stakes winner has been off the scene for nearly a year after suffering a suspensory injury in last May’s South Australian Derby (2500m).

Co trainers Dan and Ben Pearce targeted Adelaide’s Group 1 race after the son of Al Maher confirmed his status as one of Perth’s leading three-year-olds.

He won the Listed Roberts Stakes (1800m)-Melvista Stakes (2200m) double and placed fourth behind Action in the Group 2 WA Derby (2400m).

Money Maher also claimed the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) over Achernar Star.

Ben Pearce said Money Maher was on the verge of making his comeback.

“He will come back Saturday week in a 76+ rating race over 1200m,” Pearce told The Races WA

“We are happy with how he has come back.

“We were always confident he would.

“It’s lucky it wasn’t a full tendon injury.

“There are no set plans, but depending on how he goes Saturday week there is the Hyperion Stakes and Strickland Stakes to consider.

“But we will take it one step at a time.”

Pearce said he and his brother Dan are focused on a memorable double on Good Friday.

Their top juvenile Dig Deep can add the Group 3 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) too his surprising Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) win from a fortnight back.

“All is on track with him,” Pearce said.

“Everything is going well since his last run.

Pearce also said Angelic Ruler was enjoying time in the paddock after her eastern states campaign.

The classy filly ran three consecutive placings in stakes races at Caulfield, Flemington and Moonee Valley.

“She has returned home and is spelling,” Pearce said.

“She will likely go back to Melbourne in the spring.”

Julio Santarelli