• Friday, 19 Nov, 2021,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Lakeview Max set for Sale return

Young trainer Luke Whelan couldn’t be happier with injury-plagued talent Lakeview Max ahead of the lightly-raced sprinter’s return to racing at Sale on Sunday night in heats of the Group 3 Provincial Plate (520m).

Luke, 21, and the Whelan family have enjoyed a stellar 2021, with Lakeview Walter  winning the G1 Silver Chief and G3 Silver Bullet and litter brother Lakeview Cruiser  running third in the G1 Australian Cup.

But it was their ‘cousin’ Lakeview Max, which has frustratingly been restricted to four wins from his five starts and hasn’t been seen in action since February 2, that the Whelans’ had the greatest expectations for.

Which is saying something, considering Lakeview Walter won his G1 TAB Melbourne Cup heat on Friday night in a fast 29.26sec, the second quickest qualifying performance behind Lala Kiwi’s 29.24sec.

“Lakeview Cruiser and Lakeview Walter broke in nearly identical and Lakeview Max was two lengths better than both of them,” Luke explained.

“It might sound stupid but I thought Lakeview Max was our best chance in the Melbourne Cup but I just ran out of time.”

“Harley (brother) and I said if any of them were going to win a feature race as a young dog it was Lakeview Max.

“It might sound stupid but I thought Lakeview Max was our best chance in the Melbourne Cup but I just ran out of time.

“I reckon I needed another four weeks. I didn’t have him ready to run in a prelude but then the Provincial Plate came up and I thought it’s close enough!”

Worth $25,000 to-the-winner, the Provincial Plate final will be run at Sandown on Melbourne Cup night, with heats conducted at Cranbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Sale.

Lakeview Max, a home-bred son of 2018 Melbourne Cup hero My Redeemer, will exit Box 4 in the first of Sale’s two heats (race 6 at 7.37pm).

It will only be his second start since December 6, 2020.

“He originally hurt his stopper at Sandown when he won there in December and had a couple of months off,” Luke said.

WATCH: Injury has restricted Lakeview Max (3) to only one more start since he made it four from four with a strong-finishing win at Sandown Park on December 6 last year.

“He came back and was flying but then dropped his back muscle. He had close enough to three months off and I got him back again, he had three trials and then dropped the same muscle again.

“It’s been a bit of a headache but he hasn’t really lost much at all, which is a bonus. If there is a positive, the time off has allowed him to mature.

“I’ve got absolutely no problem about his fitness or going straight to ‘500’. He’s very strong.

“Because he’d had over six months off he had to satisfactory trial and he ran 24.86sec at Sale at his fourth run off his spell. Then he went 3.5 lengths quicker in a trial. If he gets to the front on Sunday he’ll go fast!

“If he can hold up he’s got a serious motor, that’s for sure!”

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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