Horse Racing

The racer returns to the town

Mark Pegus is riding back to the city ranks with his mount at Sandown

Group 1 winner Mark Pegus is getting more serious on his comeback as he heads to Sandown on Wednesday to ride the horse he has also trained.

Pegus teamed up with Komachi on Evergreen Handicap (1300m) as he built his comeback.

Retiring in November 2017, Pegus returned to horseback riding in October at St Arnaud, and in the two months since, he has notched a win, for Austy Coffey at Stawell on 3 December.

Pegus made a trip to Darwin last weekend in three trips without making it difficult for scorers.

Pegus said: “I went up there for a ride for a mate of mine, Chris Nash.

“I haven’t seen him in a while, so I thought I’d go up there and spend the weekend there.

“The horses weren’t running very well, but it was good to catch up with Chris.”

During a break from riding, Pegus switched to training from his base at Stawell but changing personal circumstances forced him back into the saddle.

“I started riding a few weeks ago and I’ll just focus until Christmas and then maybe a little more serious,” Pegus said.

“I am very happy to be back in the races again. That’s the problem, in Stawell, I haven’t met anyone yet, so I need to go out and start seeing people again, and that’s what riding is doing.

His mount on Wednesday is still without a win in seven starts in Australia and putting the coach’s hat on Pegus said Komachi has a chance to win on Wednesday.

Pegus said track conditions, currently Soft 6, should pose no problems.

“He hasn’t had much luck since I’ve had him here,” Pegus said.

“He should have almost won at Werribee. Might not have beaten the winner, but he should have beaten the second horse and he was out of shape at Casterton when he started earlier.

“I wouldn’t rule him out on a soft road. On his first start for us at Ballarat, it was a soft run and it was possibly his best run.

“But he’s had a few problems over time, so I’ve tried to keep him at the top.”

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