As the trainer and owner of comeback galloper Home Ground, John Sargent has extra incentive to perform a career revamp on the 2018 Geelong Classic winner.
“I’m the owner now so I’m not getting any training fees but hopefully I will get some stakes money. You live in hope,” Sargent said.
Home Ground will step out in the TAB Long May We Play Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday, his first appearance since he finished fifth to Extra Brut in the 2018 Victoria Derby.
His Hong Kong-based owners took him overseas after that staying performance but he continually presented with soreness issues and never raced in the Asian thoroughbred hub.
They decided to cut their losses and the horse found his way back to Sargent’s Sydney stable, via some extended periods in quarantine.
It has been a long journey but Sargent cannot fault the four-year-old physically and is hopeful he can work his way towards races like the Newcastle and Wyong Cups.
“He’s been out for a long time but I can’t find anything wrong with him, so we’re going to tick him over and see if we can get him back to the staying horse he was,” Sargent said.
“I don’t think the time has hurt him.
“He will probably need this race on Saturday and another one before he’s really fit, he is a big horse and carries a lot of weight.”