Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes expects Keen Array to will have a good Spring Carnival campaign that will kick off in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Sandown on Sunday.
Hayes said he had to abandon an Autumn Carnival campaign after the four year old failed to bounce back following his trip to the West but the Hall Of Fame trainer is happy with the way he has prepared for his 2017 Spring Carnival campaign.
“He’ll certainly run well but I suspect he’ll get better with racing and possibly even over some more ground this spring,” Hayes said.
“He came back from Perth and really had a bad prep in the autumn – which can happen with horses – so instead of taking him to the races, we cut our losses and put him out.
“But he’s come back really well and impressed in his trials so I’ll be looking for a strong run from him.”
Keen Array will be having his first start since running eighth to Takedown in the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot during the 2016 Perth Summer Carnival.
The Bel Esprit five year old emerged as one of the top sprinting three year olds during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a win in the Listed $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield before running second to Japonisme in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight.
Keen Array was back in the winner’s stall on two occasions at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival with victories in the Listed $120,000 Fight Cancer Foundation Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) and in the Listed $120,000 Italktravel Stakes (1200m).
Regan Bayliss will be having his first race ride on Keen Array who has drawn the rails in the twelve horse Bletchingly Stakes that was rescheduled to be run on the Ladbrokes Park Lakeside track at Sandown after it and the remainder of the program were abandoned after the fourth race at Caulfield last Saturday because of the gale force winds that were sweeping across the course.
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig will also saddle up Tashbeeh who was a first up winner two starts back in the Listed $120,000 Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on May 20 but then ran down the track when ninth of ten in the Listed $150,000 All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) at Flemington on July 8.
Cory Parsih takes the ride on Tashbeeh who has drawn nicely at barrier five.
Early betting for the Bletchingly Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Keen Array posted as an $8 chance while Tashbeeh is one of the outsiders of the field at $26 while multiple Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee, who is resuming from an injury enforced break, heads the market order at $4.20 just ahead of Savanna Amour at $5.50 and the up and coming sprinter Ability at $6.