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Lightning return so sweet

Sat, 12 May 2012

Sweet Lightning faces the acid test when he steps up to Pattern company on his comeback from injury for a different stable on Sunday.

The seven-year-old has his first run since recovering from a serious pelvic problem in the Group Three Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown.

He has been sidelined since winning the Lincoln at Doncaster in April 2011 when he was trained by Michael Dods. He is now with Tommy Carmody.

Sweet Lightning has been back in full work for a while and spent time in Dubai, where he was close to returning to action.

That plan was scrapped as he was not quite ready and connections decided to send him to the former top-class jump jockey at the Curragh to continue his career, along with several other horses owned by Andrew Tinkler.

"He had a nasty pelvic injury after the Lincoln last year which occurred a couple of weeks afterwards," said Tim Jones, racing manager to the owner.

"Consequently he's been off the radar ever since then recovering. He went to Dubai in the New Year in the hope that he might be ready to run over there, but it was always going to come a bit too soon for him at the end of the Carnival. He did really well in his training over there and seemed well suited to it.

"We had a decision to make when he came home whether he would need to be trained on those flat surfaces, and the decision was made to send him to Ireland to be trained on the Curragh, where there are lots of opportunities to train in that way. Tommy has had a good start for us there, so it was an obvious decision.

"We have to hope he has maintained that verve, that enthusiasm and ability, and see where we are. He's in really good form and it would be a thrill to see him back to something like the level of form he is capable of. He's a real favourite to all of us and to Andrew in particular."

Only four other horses have been declared to take on Sweet Lightning, the pick of which is 10-times course winner Famous Name. Dermot Weld's seven-year-old is chasing his third successive victory in the race. Ask Jack, Barack and Kargali complete the line-up.