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Return of injury-plagued Base delayed
Jeff Turnbull
17:15 AEST Wed Dec 11 2013

Mornington trainer Luke Oliver is a patient man.

He has waited 113 weeks to get former Lloyd Williams-owned horse Base right for racing and after nominating and then withdrawing him from Flemington on Saturday, he is prepared to wait a few weeks more.

Base was purchased for $100,000 at a dispersal sale of Williams' horses more than two years with the knowledge he was recovering from a suspensory ligament injury.

However, Base broke down again while being prepared for a return and spent another nine months in the paddock.

His most recent setback has come following a barrier trial win last month from which he pulled up footsore.

"I'm sure he will get to the races in the next couple of weeks," Oliver said.

"He's certainly a horse with a lot of ability - it might take him a couple of runs to get back into it but it feels like he hasn't lost his ability."

Proof of his ability includes a third placing in the 2011 Group Three Queen's Cup at Rosehill and consecutive Melbourne wins in February and March of that year.

Oliver's hopes for Base received a boost on Sunday when stablemate Elusive Shine made a triumphant return from an 84-week layoff.

"That proves it can be done," Oliver said.

Base is likely to make his return in the Listed Lord Stakes at Mornington later this month.