Trainer Lloyd Kennewell has declared Get The Nod the best horse that he has ever trained after he won the 2014 Vain Stakes in impressive fashion at Caulfield on Saturday.
Get The Nod flew under the radar heading into the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m), with Mick Price-trained Nordic Empire and Jabali dominating the headlines, but jockey Joe Bowditch rode the US Ranger gelding like a good thing and he was too strong for the rest of the field in the final stages of the race.
An emotional Kennewell dedicated the win to his future step-son Nick, who was diagnosed with cancer during the week
“It has been a very tough for the whole family, my future step-son has been diagnosed with leukemia on Wednesday, so it has been a tough week and this is very satisfying,” Kennewell said.
“He is a fighter, we are fighters and we are all fighters in life and we are going to be onwards and upwards and we are going to get him right.
“There was nothing wrong with him on Tuesday and by Wednesday he was in the cancer ward having treatment, but he is in good hands.”
While Kennewell clearly had bigger things on his mind, he was obviously delighted with the impressive performance of Get The Nod in the Vain Stakes, but he revealed that he was always fully of confidence that the three-year-old would win the Group 3 event.
Kennewell said that he has known for a long time that Get The Nod was the best horse in his stable and he is extremely excited to see what the talented gelding can achieve during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He is the best horse I have said and he is an absolute star.
“I don’t say that lightly, but he is as good as we have got and as good as we have had and we have known that for a long, long time.
“That is why he was put straight away after his win when he won shin shore and the owners are entitled to get on first and that is why we kept it quiet.
“He is a serious horse and I am really looking forward to seeing where he gets.”
Joe Bowditch rode Get The Nod when he won on debut in the Holdfast Insurance Handicap (1000m) at Morphettville Parks on March 8 and, like Kennewell, he has always had a very high opinion of the three-year-old.
Bowditch admitted that he did not give Get The Nod the best run in transit and he was caught wide for the majority of the race, but he always remained confident that the gelding would be good enough to win.
“We worked him with a couple of handy ones on Tuesday and I came back and said that I thought he was the best horse that we have got,” Bowditch said.
“He has come out today and showed his class.
“It is a bit different when they work good, but don’t bring it to the race, so it was nice to see him bring it here.
“He still didn’t have the nicest run and he drew a bit awkward, but he put paid to them pretty quick.”
Get The Nod has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Caulfield Classic (2000m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.