Mugatoo, the reigning All-Star Mile champion, will be a notable absentee from this year’s starting line-up but trainer Kris Lees is optimistic of a fruitful return to the track in the coming months.

The seven-year-old British import has been out of action since running last in the G1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in May after suffering a significant tendon injury.

After several months recovering on the sidelines, Lees has revealed some positive news regarding the Australian Bloodstock-owned gelding.

“He’s literally just returned into our city stable,” Lees said.

“The vets are really happy with his tendon, you can’t even pick which leg so that’s always a good sign, you’re always guarded with tendon injuries.”

WATCH: 2021 All-Star Mile

And while all signs are pointing to a full recovery, perhaps even ahead of what was first feared, Lees is reluctant to predict when we might see the return of Mugatoo.

“There’s not really a timeframe, I find that probably locks us in, I prefer to let the horse see where he’s at and then set that plan for him,” Lees said.

“He’s still a few months from race day but everything’s on schedule.”

The son of Henrythenavigator stormed away to take out the third edition of the fan-voted race held at Moonee Valley ahead of Russian Camelot.

Lees admits he’ll be watching this year’s race with a tinge of sadness, with a fully fit Mugatoo a good chance to go back-to-back in the feature race, that will this year be run at Flemington.

“It’s definitely disappointing, it’s a great concept and the ideal type of race for him, anyway, we might be there with him the year after.”

A popular horse, Mugatoo has won seven races since arriving in Australia and has amassed nearly $3.4 million in prizemoney.


Trainer: K.A.Lees
Age: 7YO
Sex: Gelding
Colour: Bay
Prize Money: $3,397,917
Last 5: 14610-
Career: 21-9-2-1
POS Jockey Track Date DIST Race WGT MRG Odds  
10 – 10 H.Bowman DOOM 22 MAY 2021 2000m DOOMBEN CUP 59kg 49.5L $6.50  
6 – 7 H.Bowman RAND 17 APR 2021 2000m QUEEN ELIZ 59kg 1.8L $9.50  
4 – 19 H.Bowman RAND 10 APR 2021 1600m DONCASTER 56kg 1.5L $4.20  
1 – 15 H.Bowman M V 13 MAR 2021 1600m ALL-STAR MILE 59kg 0.5L $8
5 – 8 K.McEvoy RAND 13 FEB 2021 1400m APOLLO 59kg 3.6L $8


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