Ad Makram returns to the mounting yard after winning the Australian Childhood Foundation Plate at Flemington. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Makram returns for winter cameo

19 May 2023 Written by Craig Brennan - Racing & Sports

Lindsay Park trainers Ben and J D Hayes have taken a different approach to start the brief winter campaign of Makram at Flemington.

Having undergone fetlock surgery post his spring campaign, the Hayes brothers have elected to start Makram off over 1600m in the VJA Winter Championship Trophy on Saturday.

An Irish-bred import that raced in UK before arriving in Australia, Makram's two previous first-up runs had been at 1400m which he had found too short.

However, with those 1400m contests under the belt, Makram came out at his next start to win each time over 1700m at Flemington.

The most recent of those was defeating Hezashocka last September.

Makram (IRE) defeating Hezashocka (NZ) at Flemington last year. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

"He's a horse that generally needs a run before he gets to peak fitness," Ben Hayes said.

"But his mannerisms have been very good this prep, more relaxed, so hopefully that translates to a good campaign for him.

"We've also decided to kick him off over a mile this campaign. That's more his trip.

"Over the 1400 metres when starting off his previous two campaigns, he was outsprinted, but then he came out and won second-up at 1700m at Flemington both times.

"He does have a big weight, but he could run very well fresh, and hopefully we should see him finishing off strongly." - Ben Hayes

"The idea is to just give him one or two runs and then back-off him for the spring.

"We just wanted to get him in and moving after the surgery."

Makram showed staying promise last campaign, finishing second in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield before coming from back in the field when third to Lexus Melbourne Cup runner-up Emissary in the Listed Geelong Cup (2400m).

The gelding underwent his surgery after that run but showed he was ready for a return to the track with an 1100m trial win at Tatura on May 9.

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