Ballarat trainer Dan O’Sullivan’s gallant stayer Tuscan Fire is set to make his racetrack return at Caulfield on Saturday in the $120,500 Listed Thoroughbred Club Cup (1440m) after spending 26 weeks away from the races, reports Racing Victoria.

Tuscan Fire spent much of the 2013 Spring Carnival chasing home the likes of Puissance De Lune, Happy Trails, Fiorente and Fawkner; and will no doubt appreciate a drop in class this campaign after failing to finish closer than seventh in his five black-type starts last time in.

Despite a dashing last to first victory when first-up at Flemington last August, Tuscan Fire failed to find the form that saw him take out the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) in such devastating fashion, and was sent to the paddock for an extended break after pulling up a disappointing 10th of 12 in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) last October.

“He’s had a good long break,” Trainer Dan O’Sullivan said. “He was a little bit scratchy after the Bendigo Cup, so I gave him an extended break and missed the autumn.

“He’s come up really well since that though, he always comes up well.”

O’Sullivan has lowered his sights with Tuscan Fire, forgoing the temptation of Interstate riches to give his horse the chance to return to winning form.

“The Banjo Patterson Series works out really well as a series for him to go through,” O’Sullivan said

“He handles all sorts of going and there’s good money on offer there so that’s our goal.

“After that I’d like to freshen him up and come back again and have a go at the Ballarat Cup.”

Tuscan Fire put in a brilliant effort when first-up last campaign, coming from last to defeat the John Sadler-trained Henwood by a nose, and O’Sullivan believes his charge is in just as good order this time in.

“He’s come up very well,” O’Sullivan said.

“His work and the two-jump outs he’s had have been easy, but he’s done very well in them and hit the line very strongly in them both.

“At Flemington (when resuming) we were down in the weights, the race worked out really well for him and he just got there. He’d need everything to go right for him and a strong tempo to win this race, but he’s in just as good order as he was at the start of last campaign.”

Tuscan Fire will be joined by a strong field in the 1440m feature event, including 2012 Queensland Derby winner Brambles, 2013 Kilmore Cup winner Dany The Fox and the Matt Laurie-trained Bianmick.

A strong field of  two-year-olds have accepted to run in the other feature of the day, the $120,500 Listed  Sky High Dandenong Stakes (1200m), including last start winner’s Easy Drama (barrier 1), Pressing (3) and Hunters Grace (2).  Petrology (5) and Armada (8) will be out to extract revenge on the Mick Price-trained Pressing, after filling the placegetters stall at their last meeting.

Peter Moody has engaged his unbeaten filly River Delta (2) in the $80,000 Sportscover Insures VAFA Plate (1440m), where she has been asked to carry 57kg. Apprentice Shaun Guymer retains the ride, and will no doubt be aiming to get the most out of his 2kg claim come Saturday’s race.

Click here to view full fields, form and barriers for Saturday’s Caulfield meeting.