Parnham believes in class of Checkpoint
Injury-prone Checkpoint returns from a sesamoid bone injury in Saturday’s Roma Cup (1200m) at Belmont Park. Picture Dione Davidson/WA News

Classy sprinter Checkpoint will launch another comeback from a sesamoid bone injury when he resumes in Saturday's $125,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Roma Cup (1200m) at Belmont Park.

Set to trial at Belmont today ahead of the feature sprint, five-year-old Checkpoint has been restricted to 14 starts because of multiple injuries.

The latest setback came at the worst possible time - on the eve of the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) last November.

Vets have recommended restricting Checkpoint's campaigns to two starts to get the best out of him.

"He took a piece off his sesamoid before the Winterbottom," trainer Neville Parnham said.

"He also did that the year before on his opposite leg.

"He's lucky to even be racing. Because of his leg problems, vets have advised me to only give him a couple of starts each campaign.

"He'll trial on Monday and run in the Roma Cup and Belmont Sprint and then spell."

The $125,000 Belmont Sprint (1400m) is on May 31.

Checkpoint stepped up to top company at Ascot last summer, running a close third to Barakey in the Prince of Wales Stakes (1200m) and a nose second to Conservatorium in the Lee-Steere Stakes (1400m).

The son of Snitzel has an outstanding record at Belmont, running in the first two at all six starts at the track. "He's going well and he's very sound at the moment," Parnham said.

"His summer carnival form was outstanding and he's right up to that company."

Parnham has ruled fellow Belmont specialist Dominating, who is entered for the same trial as Checkpoint today, out of the Roma Cup.

"He might trial Monday or I'll save him for the following week," Parnham said.

"We'll try to pick up a few of the 78-plus rating sprints as he's still down in the ratings.

"He's going really well and he goes much better at Belmont."

Parnham's apprentice son, Chris, will make his own comeback from injury at Belmont on Wednesday.

Chris has been sidelined since February after breaking a wrist in Sydney, prematurely ending his three-month loan to star trainer Gai Waterhouse.

·Jockey Peter Knuckey was suspended for 13 days for careless riding at Belmont on Saturday.

He will return in time to ride quality mare Platinum Rocker in the Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 24.

·Former champion jockey John Wilson died yesterday, aged 78.

Wilson won three Perth Cups and was inducted to the Singapore Turf Club's Hall of Fame after a successful 17-year stint.

He later turned his hand to training and prepared Trading Day to three Ascot wins in recent months.

The West Australian

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