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River Lad on song for Glasshouse Handicap
Stephen Rodgers
06:57 AEST Sat Jun 29 2013

The man who has worked closely with Black Caviar has also played a role in rejuvenating the career of Glasshouse Handicap contender River Lad.

Renowned horse chiropractor Michael Bryant, who helped Black Caviar overcome serious chest and shoulder injuries during her unbeaten career, has provided River Lad's trainer Natalie McCall with some invaluable advice.

River Lad has been plagued with back problems for most of his career and Bryant advised McCall to alternate River Lad's exercise between treadmill and water walker programs.

"The treadmill has really built up his back and Michael suggested we work him on an incline so he's using his rear-end muscles all the time," she said.

"Before we started on this plan he used to tear all the muscles over the top of his hindquarters and I think that's had a bit to do with why he used to race erratically.

"Since we've been using the treadmill and water walker I think we've had his back adjusted once this campaign but previously he was getting it treated once a week."

River Lad's consistent winter carnival form is proof the plan devised by Bryant and implemented by McCall is working.

The gelding won the Gold Coast Stakes and Bribie Handicap in March and rounded off his Glasshouse Handicap preparation with a close second to Howmuchdoyouloveme in last Saturday's Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm.

"He's done really well since the Healy and the Sunshine Coast track will really suit him," McCall said.

The Glasshouse will be River Lad's final start this campaign but McCall is considering a Melbourne trip for the gelding in the spring.

"When Michael Cahill won the Gold Coast Stakes on him he told me after the race he'd be a three or four lengths better horse down the straight six at Flemington," she said.

"We wouldn't aim at any of the Group Ones but something like the Gilgai or Salinger would be nice races if he comes up well next time in."


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