Plans for Scales Of Justice to tackle The Everest later this year will be ramped up after the star Lindsey Smith-trained gelding launches is campaign at Moonee Valley.
After battling back and feet issues following his 2016 Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) triumph at Ascot, Scales Of Justice bounced back to his best in Melbourne last year.
The son of Not A Single Doubt won the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and followed a month later at the same track to claim the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
After overcoming serious injuries for the past several years, Smith said Scales Of Justice had enjoyed a trouble-free preparation ahead of his return on Friday night.
He’s confident the seven-year-old is on track to win the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) first-up.
“He is fit and well and ready to go to the races and put on a good show,” Smith said on Tabradio.
“He had a gallop on Tuesday morning and looked good coming up the straight to me
“I’ve seen him go around enough times to know when he is off and on.
“He looks pretty well switched on to me and most of his issues are behind him.
“He is very well in himself and I look forward to seeing him out there.”
With nine runners in the Australia Stakes, Scales Of Justice will jump from barrier two. Regular rider Dean Yendall maintains the mount.
Although nominated for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 7 and the $5 million All-Star Mile at Caulfield the following week, Smith said all options are open for his dual Group 1 champion.
“I’m looking at maybe keeping him at the 12 and 14 hundreds and not go to the All-Star Mile.,” Smith said.
“I just want to see how he goes because he has been quite good at the shorter distances.
“He is getting a bit long in the tooth, but I wouldn’t mind if he goes good at the 12 hundreds, I might have one last crack at The Everest.
“I’m not sure if he will go to a Newmarket being a handicap.
“I did nominate and I might go that way.
“Most of his best races have been over the short journeys.
“Maybe it’s taken me time to wake up.”