HE was one bad run away from finding himself on the scrapheap.
But a storming finish to Monday’s Class 3 Handicap (1460m) at Queanbeyan has earned High Density a racing reprieve and possibly even an unlikely Queanbeyan Cup start.
The Joe Cleary trained six-year-old came home like a train to claim just the third win of his career on his home track ahead of fellow Queanbeyan galloper Bold Reality.
It was a drought-breaking run for the once highly fancied son of Carnegie who had run unplaced in his six previous starts.
“I sat down and had a meeting with his owners before this preparation and spoke about the fact that he had this preparation to shape up or he was on the chopping block,” Cleary said.
“He’s a horse who’s always promised the world and delivered not a hell of a lot to be honest. Without making too many excuses for him he’s never really pulled his socks up to keep a place in the stable.
“But credit to his track work rider Heath [Parker]. He said to me last Friday the horse was ready to win and he was spot on.”
Cleary said High Density’s next run would be on Queanbeyan Cup day, although in which race remains undetermined.
He’s an outside chance of getting a run in the Cup itself but will more likely jump in the Benchmark 65 (1600m).
And having previously entertained thoughts of cutting him loose after a succession of poor runs, Cleary said he was now confident the gelding had at least another 12 months in him.
“Last preparation he had terrible feet but that hasn’t been an issue since he’s come back in,” he said.
“We changed his diet around a little bit and changed his work as well and he seems to have come up well so I think he should be in good shape from here on in.”
The Julia Ceely trained Anything You Touch, meanwhile, was Monday’s only other local winner after the four-year-old claimed the Thunderbolt Prelude (900m).
The meet was briefly delayed after jockeys Jay Ford and James Geppert were thrown following a collision midway through race five. Both escaped serious injury.