Just nine starts ago Perfect Marshall celebrated Group 1 glory at The Meadows, eclipsing a hand-picked field comprising the best middle distance gallopers in the land in the Rookie Rebel over 600m.
But that dashing all-the-way triumph has been quickly forgotten in some circles and on Saturday night he will return to the track of that career-defining victory as an $11 chance in TAB’s market on race 6, the Gr8 Eight Special Event.
While Perfect Marshall has been beaten at his last two starts, both from unsuitable box eight draws at Sandown Park, co-trainer Dave Knocker believes it could pay to overlook those defeats when he returns to his happy hunting ground.
“He’s not getting any younger but don’t get me wrong, he’s going terrific, the dog,” said Knocker.
“He’d been up for a while when he won the Rookie Rebel and my daughter suggested we give him a bit of a break and then after that we couldn’t get a run with him for another couple of weeks.
“He resumed at The Meadows over 525m and went 29.83s. Then he won at Cranbourne and went super (29.82s). After that he ran third at Sandown off the pink and then he drew the pink again last week and I think he thought ‘I’m stuck out here again’ and he didn’t fire.
“I said to his owner, Mark Dooley, that was the worst run he’s put in since he won the Rookie Rebel but I think it will be a different story this week. He’s back to where he loves.”
Perfect Marshall has won four from 10 over The Meadows’ 600m course but he will have to contend with box five and a couple of very worthy adversaries to enhance that record.