Murray relieved as Pin 'Em Down returns

Only days after securing an improbable win described as the best of his career, a nondescript Kembla Grange race looms as Paul Murray's ultimate reward on Saturday.

Fourteen months after Pin 'Em Down suffered life-threatening injuries when galloped on during a Rosehill race, the four-year-old will return to the track with a clean bill of health.

"The day he got galloped on I didn't think we'd ever save him," Murray admitted.

"The day he did that, the horse just turned around, all the owners were there, he just looked at me to say, 'just put me down'."

Emergency surgery on the then three-year-old's near-hind flexor tendon was successful and rehabilitation has been slow over the past year.

The horse was held in high regard at Hussar's Lodge, with connections harbouring hope of a Magic Millions Guineas start before Pin 'Em Down's run-in with rival galloper Ingham Magic.

It's a far cry from the Benchmark 65 Handicap (1300 metres) in which he's entered for on his home track this weekend but any start is a good one at this stage.

"It's just been a long, slow process and we're happy with the way it's been progressing," Murray said. "He's had two jumpouts. I think he ran second in his first one and he won the other.

"He's had a lot of grounding. I think he'll be running on at the finish and I'll be very happy if he pulls up and gets through it real good."

Meantime, Murray said he was "99.9 per cent" convinced Alma's Fury would press on to the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600 metres) after his surprise Apollo Stakes win.

"He will be nominated for the [National] Sprint in Canberra and the Liverpool City Cup on the same day, the owner just wants to see what weight he gets," Murray said. "It's 99.9 [per cent] he'll be going to the Chipping Norton. You can't go back now - you've got to keep going."

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