The Drover hasn't raced since before the start of NSW's second COVID-19 lockdown but on Saturday, he'll be back in action for Bathurst trainer Roy L McCabe in a Highway Handicap (1200 metres).
The five-year-old gelding has drawn barrier 14 for the $100,000 race at Rosehill Gardens, having not started an official race since a fourth in a Class 2 Highway Handicap at the same track.
McCabe explained that The Drove went for a 20 week spell so he can be well prepared for the Country Championships in February.
"He's getting brought up for the [Country] Championships, so he had to go for a spell now," he explained.
"He's back now, he'll have two runs and then three weeks off and get ready for the Championships, that are in February."
While rain is forecast for Sydney on Saturday, McCabe is confident the conditions will suit him, even though he's never raced on a heavy track before.
"He's never raced on a heavy track but I'm pretty confident he'll get through it," he said.
"He's bred to get through the heavy grounds."
Jason Collett is in the saddle for the gelding, who has drawn 14 for the handicap race, a barrier position that McCabe was pleased with.
He's never raced on a heavy track but I'm pretty confident he'll get through it.Roy L McCabe
"I'm stoke with how he's drawn out there. It just means he'll go in late, not standing in their that long, not giving him that much time to play up," he said.
"It's always hard to go to Sydney and win, but he's a very exciting horse going forward. He's run a second and a fourth down there in Highways, so hopefully he can take his Highway form down there again.
"I'm confident he'll run a very nice race."
The Highway Handicap will get underway from Rosehill Gardens at 12.55pm, the second race of the 10-race meeting.
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