Anthony Freedman-trained First Command will have the opportunity to record a third straight victory in the Kensington Stakes after being included in the final field for the Listed event that will be held at Flemington on Saturday.
First Command has not been seen at the races since she finished seventh behind equine superstar Black Caviar in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) in February, but has performed impressively in nine first-up starts throughout his racing career.
The Commands gelding won the 2011 Kensington Stakes carrying 58 kilograms, the 2012 edition of the race carrying 59 kilograms and will have to lug the top weight of 60 kilograms from barrier seven in the $120,000 race this weekend.
Another gelding returning to the races after a stint in the spelling paddock is Tony McEvoy-trained Pocket Rockets, who had twelve starts in a lengthy campaign that stretched from March to September.
Pocket Rockets made his Australian racing debut with a win in the Yalumba Handicap (1050m) at Oakbank on March 16 last year, after previously being trained in Hong Kong, and picked up wins at Bathurst and Morphettville before defeating a strong field to take out the Eldridge & Millson Handicap (1000m) at Flemington.
The son of Invincible Sprit made his black type racing debut with a fifth place finish in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 24 and failed to fire in both the Group 3 TheShark.Com.Au Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 31 and the W H Wylie Handicap (1100m) at Morphettville on September 21.
The only horse taking winning form into the 2014 Kensington Stakes is Kaiser Sun, who is set to make his Listed debut after starting his summer campaign with three straight victories.
Kaiser Sun recorded his second career win in the National Heating And Cooling Handicap (1000m) at Bendigo on May 3 and returned to the races with a victory in the Lanec Services Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on December 14 before taking out the Flemington 1840-2014 Handicap at the same venue on New Year’s Day.
Trainer Simon Zahra is confident that Kaiser Sun can extend his winning streak this weekend and is considering setting the Danerich gelding for races at Group level during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
Other key runners included in the Kensington Stakes final field are the resuming General Truce, progressive gelding Don’t Get Excited, Bendigo-based She’s Ellie and Dean Binaisse-trained Fab Fevola.