Trainer Mark Kavanagh says it will take Shamoline Warrior a couple of runs to find form again after an enforced spring break with a ligament injury.

Kavanagh said he had taken his time with the four-year-old and was happy with his progress going into Saturday's Henry Bucks Best Dressed (1400m) at Flemington.

"I am happy with the horse but I would have to say that it would be hard for a four-year-old stallion, who is a stayer, to win first-up after a long layoff," Kavanagh said.

"I believe he will need a couple of runs."

As a three-year-old Shamoline Warrior was favourite for the Victoria Derby (2500m) following a stunning win in the Group Three Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) (pictured) but was scratched on the morning of the Classic because of a high temperature and a lung infection.

He was prominent in the Cup markets last spring and also nominated for the Cox Plate but suffered a slight tear above the sesamoid bone when finishing second last after being badly buffeted in the Liston Stakes on August 14.

"He had two months off and we have brought him up slowly," Kavanagh said.

Michael Rodd will ride Shamoline Warrior who is $11 with Sportingbet Australia.

The Lloyd Williams-owned Niblick is $3.60 favourite to win first-up ahead of Offenders ($5) and Barwon Express ($6.50).

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