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Metal Bender on target for Farm comeback
Mandy Cottell
17:50 AEST Wed Aug 21 2013

Chris Waller has no favourites among his horses but he does have a soft spot for the injury-plagued Metal Bender.

The eight-year-old will be one of six runners for Waller in Saturday's Group Two Warwick Stakes (1400m) which has attracted 14 acceptors.

On the comeback trail from a tendon injury, Metal Bender has not raced since his Group One George Ryder Stakes victory in April last year.

It was the third serious setback of a career which has been stop-start since he fractured a leg at the end of his three-year-old season.

Waller said Metal Bender's ability to push through the pain barrier was remarkable.

"He's a superstar," Waller said.

"He has done it throughout his life."

First trained by the late Jack Denham under whom he won the 2009 Randwick and Rosehill Guineas and dead-heated for second in that year's Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Metal Bender's career has been restricted to just 22 starts.

Despite his issues he has managed to consistently fight back and win a Group-level race every season.

He took out the Warwick Stakes first-up three years ago with Tim Clark in the saddle and that combination will be back together for the first time since in Saturday's renewal.

Waller expects the speedy Rain Affair, a scintillating winner of the Missile Stakes last start, to be too nippy for Metal Bender, and the rest of his team who are all better known over longer journeys.

"We've nursed him back and even on Saturday he will be carrying a few extra kilos, but he does look really well within himself," Waller said.

"Good horses like him are hard to find. He is well respected.

"I haven't thought about whether he could win or not. I don't expect him to win, I expect Rain Affair to win, but I think he will be in for a good preparation."

Stablemate Shoot Out was a surprise omission from the race after being scratched from a barrier trial last week.

Waller said nothing was wrong with the multiple Group One winner who will instead resume over 1600m in the Chelmsford Stakes.

Waller's other Warwick Stakes runners will be Foreteller, Beaten Up, Kelinni, Moriarty and Hawkspur.


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