After a dominant Ascot carnival for the cerise and white colours of owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters, it will be one of their forgotten stars Mikimoto that will take centre stage at Ascot on Saturday.
The Sebring mare was last seen at the races in the 2017 Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes, where she was third to Art Series.
Prior to that, Mikimoto stamped herself as a valuable commodity when she won the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes.
She makes her long awaited return to racing in Saturday’s Schweppes Handicap (1200m), where she faces a tricky task from barrier 15.
Bob Peters said he was pleased to have the four-year-old back racing following her injury lay off.
“She had a problem in her hind joints which we had to look after and that has taken a long time,” he said.
“We didn’t pick it up initially, we only saw it one day when she was in the paddock and she wasn’t striding out properly.
“We had it checked out and got it treated.”
This Saturday will also be Mikimoto’s first start for trainer Adam Durrant, having been under the care of Grant and Alana Williams for her first four starts.
TABtouch has Mikimoto rated a $3.80 chance for Saturday’s $70,000 event, narrowly behind Double Jeopardy ($3.30), while Alpha Sky ($7.50) is the only other runner in single figures.
Peters said he was hopeful of a winning return from Mikimoto and revealed he had no set plan for her this campaign.
“You always go in hoping to see her win,” he said.
“She hasn’t drawn well on Saturday, so she might get back and find it too short.
“She’s still got ratings races she can compete in this campaign.
“I don’t think she’d be getting out beyond 1600m though.”
Showcase also ran in the 2017 Champion Fillies Stakes and, in contrast to Mikimoto, has had 13 starts since that race.
She also lines up at Ascot on Saturday in the Western Racepix Handicap (1800m) for Peters, but he was circumspect about the mare’s chances.
“She’s been up for a while,” he said.
“I think this is a big step up for her coming out of the mares races.”
Peters has the first three favourites on Saturday’s Ascot program, including Royal Statue who is a $1.50 favourite in the Seacorp Handicap (1600m).
The Ascot program gets underway at 12.48 on Saturday afternoon, with the Listed Miss Andretti Stakes the feature event of the day.