Voice Commander Back

By Alex Steedman

Nick Olive-trained dual stakes-winner Voice Commander has returned from a lengthy spell and is back in work prior to his upcoming spring campaign.

The five-year-old returned to work a fortnight ago after going to the paddock following his last start second in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m) in January.

“Voice Commander has been back in for about two weeks,” Olive said. “He's come back and he looks terrific. He's returned big and strong so we're really looking forward to getting him racing again.”

“He hates wet tracks so we didn't want to race him over the winter. We decided to just give him a big rest with the goal of bringing him back on a dry track.”

Voice Commander will likely commence his upcoming preparation in late August where he'll attempt to claim a third stakes win over the spring.

The Commands gelding boasts two wins in Listed company, the 2008 Festival Stakes at Randwick (1500m) and the $150,000 Listed Weetwood Handicap (1300m) at Toowoomba in July 2009.

With stakes wins in both New South Wales and Queensland, Victoria could play host to the gelding's next tilt at black-type success.

“He'll probably head down to Melbourne for a race over the spring if he shapes up,” Olive said. “We'll see how he comes up and then decide.”

From 26 starts, the lightly-raced galloper has recorded eight wins and seven placings. His prize money earnings total almost $500,000.

Nick Olive's stable has received an additional boost with consistent sprinter Grand Rhumba also back in work.

Another who hasn't raced in more than six months, Grand Rhumba came back into work four weeks ago.

Last season's most consistent horse in NSW, the Rhythm gelding hasn't been seen at the races since he finished midfield at Rosehill in early December.

The six-year-old is expected to make his race return within the next 4-5 weeks.

“Hopefully he can get one up in Sydney,” Olive said. “That will be his main goal this preparation. He has come back terrific as well.”