Bunbury trainer Paul Roberts is attempting to maximise every opportunity he can with Spirit Level.
The Hartley’s Spirit gelding suffers chronic arthritis and is a race-to-race proposition.
The three-year-old has been restricted to six starts with a dominant Mount Barker victory last year a career milestone.
It is almost 12 months to the day since Spirit Level scorched to an electrifying six length maiden win.
But it came at a cost with the injury-prone galloper forced to spend a year on the sidelines.
“He suffers from bad knees and I have to manage his work and program,” said Roberts.
“There is no doubting his ability and it’s just a matter of keeping him sound.”
Spirit Level marked his return on his home track at Bunbury in October when he ran ninth of 15 to Ideal Image, beaten 4 ½ lengths.
On face value it may appear disappointing but Ideal Image has since progressed to win the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) at Ascot.
The Grant Williams-trained filly is undefeated and will be highly rated to stretch her winning sequence to four in Saturday’s Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m).
Spirit Level won’t be locking horns in elite company but he does return for Mount Barker’s season-opening meeting on Sunday.
To be ridden by experienced jockey, Troy Turner, Spirit Level takes on the Plantagenet Concreting Handicap (1100m)
“He loomed up at Bunbury and looked a winning chance before he copped interference.
“Because of his injuries if he gets a knock it can put him off his game.
“But he has recovered soundly and to be honest is looking the best he has.
“I put a saddle on him once this week and the remainder of his work has been on the walker.
“If he gets to the front and leads he could take some running down.
“But I think Bindaree Lady is the horse to beat on her last-start win.”
Bindaree Lady pressed her claims after digging deep to down favourite Chasing Chaos at Albany two weeks ago.
The Oratorio filly, prepared by Dixie Solly, will start from barrier six for Kyra Yuill.
Other contenders include Goneagain; a smart maiden winner but he has drawn awkwardly.
Secure The Sky should strip fitter after a first-up placing to unbeaten mare, Wild Ruby.
Julio Santarelli: RWWA