Fill The Page A Surprise Sprint Starter

By: Alex Steedman

2012 Canberra Cup winner Fill The Page will return from a career threatening bowed tendon sustained during the spring in the Listed National Sprint at Thoroughbred Park on March 10.

The Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones-trained mare was responsible for creating a party atmosphere in the mounting yard at Thoroughbred Park 12 months ago when providing the ‘Baroness of Bombala’ with her first Canberra Cup victory.

Fill The Page’s spring preparation was coming along well before the mare sustained a bowed tendon just days before her scheduled first up run.

Connections immediately signalled her retirement before a racetrack return was put back on the agenda late last year.

 “I’m pretty excited about her being back I assure you,” Barbara Joseph said.

 “She was going to be retired if she could be sold but it was a bit late into the season.

 “I convinced the owners her leg was coming good and she should have one more preparation.”

 Joseph and Jones have gradually built the five-year-olds leg strength back up since December.

 “The decision not to retire her came in about November when they hadn’t sold her,” Joseph said.

 “It was too late for the season and it looked like the tendon was healing very well.

 “She had six weeks on the water walker and swimming after that diagnosis. Then she went to Bombala and had about six to eight weeks off.

 “She’s been in work since December so we’ve taken her along very slowly.

 “She’s done a lot of walking, trotting and swimming.”

 Fill The Page will resume in the $100,000 Listed National Sprint (1400m) at Thoroughbred Park on March 10, 12 months after her career best win in the Canberra Cup (2000m).

 “We’re going to nominate her for the National Sprint,” Joseph said.

 “Now she’ll have a jump-out over 1000m on Wednesday and then into the race.”

 The Dane Shadow mare will pursue further black type success over the coming months in what will be her final campaign prior to broodmare duties.

 “The Wagga Cup is one the agenda but she will no doubt have a go at some of those mares races in Sydney before that,” Joseph said.

 Fill The Page is likely to be joined in the Listed National Sprint by stablemate Onthelookout who last Saturday resumed with a third at Warwick Farm in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).