SIMON Ryan concedes Practiced will be outclassed in the $45,000 Woodford Cup on Sunday but the Warrnambool trainer said he needed a race to resume the veterans career after nearly two years on the sidelines.
Practiced suffered a tendon injury to his near-side leg running fourth in the 2016 Naracoorte Cup after winning two hurdle races.
Ryan said the nine-year-old has made a good recovery from the untimely injury.
“Practiced was going really good before his tendon injury,” he said.
“He was going to resume in the Port Fairy Cup but the race was abandoned after heavy rain during the day so I decided to save him for the Woodford Cup.
“They will be too sharp for him in the Woodford Cup but I had to start him off somewhere. All his scans after the tendon injury have cone back good.
“We’ll see how he stands up to racing pressure – that’s what this run is all about.”
Ryan has earmarked the first steeplechase at Warrnambool in March next year as Practiced’s return to jumping followed by the Brierly and the Grand Annual Steeplechase.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed everything is good,” he said. The first of eight races will start at 2.25pm.