LEICA Ding will give trainer Darren Weir his best guide yet as to her racing future in her comeback run in the $60,000 Gold Nugget, 1600m, in Ballarat on Sunday.
Leica Ding will carry the top weight of 58.5kg in her first race start since April 10.
She is one of four starters Weir has in the feature event, which launches the beginning of what will be an historic spring for Ballarat Turf Club.
Weir will also saddle up imported mare Emblem of Liberty, last-start Mildura Cup winner Lord of Brazil and French import Puissance de Lune in the capacity field of 16 (plus an emergency).
Lord of Brazil is the former runner of the quartet, but has been done favours in the barrier with the extreme outside.
Puissance de Lune will jump from 14.
Weir said while Leica Ding’s comeback had been an arduous process, he was satisfied to see her back at the races.
“The owners were always keen (for a comeback),” Weir said. “We’ve had a couple of cracks and things haven’t gone right, but this time we’re happy with where she’s at.”
Puissance de Lune is also first-up along with Cranbourne Cup winner Boom N Zoom and international galloper Doctor Fremantle.
Doctor Fremantle, prepared by Sam Pritchard-Gordon at Mornington, will have his first start for the stable.
Previously trained by Lee Freedman, Doctor Fremantle campaigned in New Zealand last season, finishing third in the G1 Zabeel Classic, 2000m, at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and second in the G2 Awapuni Cup, 2000m, at the end of March. He is a four-time group winner in England, where he was also fourth in the Epsom Derby
The track is rated a slow7 with the rail in the true position.
1 LEICA DING Brad Rawiller 1 58.5kg
2 DOCTOR FREMANTLE Jake Noonan (a) 6 57.5kg
3 SOUND JOURNEY Nicholas Hall 15 56.5kg
4 BOOM ‘N’ ZOOM Damien Oliver 5 56kg
5 OURFOREIGNMINISTER Steven King 16 56kg
6 COLDENS CHOICE Chris Symons 8 55.5kg
7 EBONY ROCK Kane Bradley 11 54.5kg
8 PRIZUM Luke Currie 9 54.5kg
9 EMBLEM OF LIBERTY Michael Walker 10 54kg
10 LORD OF BRAZIL Michelle Payne 17 54kg
11 STONEBLACK Peter Mertens 13 54kg
12 OREGON SPIRIT Jason Benbow 2 54kg
13 VATUVEI Luke Nolen 4 54kg
14 LORD WIMBLE Jack Hill 3 54kg
15 PUISSANCE DE LUNE James Winks 14 54kg
16 QUICK SHAKES Dean Larsson 12 54kg