WELL Defined has Shelbourne trainer Kate Hargreaves excited ahead of his return in this Saturday's Graeme Maher Memorial Trot (2240m) at Melton.
Last year's undisputed country cups king has not raced since his fourth placing in this year's Group 2 Horsham Trotters Cup on March 14.
His return will come six days after Hargreaves accepted the trophy for Well Defined's Maori's Idol Trotting Championship win at Harness Racing Victoria's Horse of the Year Awards last Sunday.
It was a reward for a prolific 2021 season, highlighted by the then six-year-old's five country cup wins at Ararat, Terang, Boort, Wangaratta (run at Shepparton) and Mildura.
He was also placed in cups at Cobram, Charlton, Horsham, Warragul and Gunbower and fourth in two others.
It was a proud moment in the career and life of the 30-year-old Group 1 winning trainer, formerly from Stawell.
"It's kind of unbelievable to think now that he won five country cups and broke two track records, and he was winning them off 30 and 40-metre handicaps," Hargreaves said.
"When you sit back and think about it, it's a pretty incredible achievement.
"I don't think there will be many trotters, moving forward, be able to emulate that. Winning five is a bit ridiculous when you think about it."
Hargreaves deflected massive praise for Well Defined's championship win to Bendigo reinswomen Ellen Tormey, who was in the sulky for all but one of his 21 starts last season and all five cup wins.
"She was the catalyst for him reaching that purple patch of form," she said.
"Ellen was fantastic - and not just on race days. Because she drives him all the time, she is second to none with the feedback she gives me.
"I don't put him in the cart very often at home because he's a bit naughty, so I don't sit behind him that often.
"The stuff she tells me or the things he is doing wrong - or she'll suggest things I can try with him - that's all invaluable.
"She is more than just a driver with him, she plays a big role. She's such an underrated talent."
Tormey will again be on board Well Defined on Saturday night when he lines up in the Graeme Maher Memorial Trot.
Hargreaves could not be happier with the Majestic Son/Focus On Me gelding ahead of his much-anticipated return.
"I'm rapt - I'm always excited when he goes to the races, so it's good to have him back up and firing and I'm happy where he is at," she said.
"He's had two really good trials, so I can't wait to get him back on track.
"He trialled against the 60 to 70-rated pacers at Maryborough last Sunday. I was really rapt because they ran good time. He run the last half in 56 himself.
"If he could win first-up, that would be cool.
"There's a few nice horses in there, but I'll be pretty confident first up."
The field will include some familiar rivals for Well Defined, headed by Robbie Royale and his stable-mate Beau Garcon, and plenty of fresh ones.
A strong Bendigo region-trained presence is highlighted by the Ross Graham-trained Nephew Of Sonoko, who is chasing a third-straight victory at Melton, following last Saturday night's Group 3 win in the Noopy Kiosk Trotters Free For All.
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