Promising jumper Shackeltons Edge made a pleasing return to racing at Hastings on Monday following a two-year hiatus.
The Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal-trained nine-year-old had shown plenty of talent over fences, winning his maiden steeplechase before finishing runner-up in the Wellington Steeplechase (5500m) at his last start before injury sidelined the gelding.
The son of Thano underwent rehabilitation at Carlton Lodge in Hawke’s Bay before heading north to continue his recuperation with Te Aroha trainer Gavin Opie.
He continued to please with his rehabilitation and subsequently returned to Nelson’s care and while he was pleased with his charge ahead of his race return in the Mike King – I Am Hope Steeplechase (4000m) on Monday, he wasn’t sure what to expect.
Nelson was met by a dominant performance from his gelding, who ran out a 3-1/4 length victor over stablemate The Anarchist, duly pleasing the Hawke’s Bay horseman.
“It was a good effort by Shackeltons Edge because he hasn’t raced for two years,” Nelson said.
“He had a tendon injury. We injected the tendons and then last year he had a suspensory (injury), which he had before.
“We are very grateful to Dianne Sergeant and her daughter Tina (at Carlton Lodge), who were a big help with his rehab.
“Then he went up to Gavin Opie who had him on the water-walker for a couple of months, and he came back very fit.”
Shackeltons Edge has had just the three steeplechase starts and Nelson is hoping he can score a prestige jumps title when he likely returns to Hastings next month for the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m).
“We will play it by ear, but I would envisage that he will be back here for the Hawke’s Bay Steeples for his next start,” Nelson said.
Shackeltons Edge will likely be joined by The Anarchist, who pleased Nelson with his runner-up effort on Monday.
“He really wanted to race on Monday, he was a new horse,” Nelson said.
“I am not too sure where he will head next, but we will make a plan shortly. I think he will probably head back to Hastings because Argyll will likely go to Waikato.