The 2016 Kensington Stakes field has been released and Headwater is set to return to the races in the Listed event at Flemington on Saturday.
Headwater made his racing debut with an impressive win at Moonee Valley at the end of 2014 and he went to the top of Golden Slipper betting when he took out the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21, but he has failed to record a race win since and he has not been seen at the races since he failed to beat a runner home in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) at Caulfield on October 17.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes confirmed that Headwater would start his autumn campaign in the Kensington Stakes and he told Racing Ahead that he is hopeful the Exceed And Excel colt will be able to return to winning form.
“He has come back really good,” Hawkes said.
“It probably wasn’t his best go in the spring – even though that run at Moonee Valley was big – and he has done really, really well.
“He will acquit himself really, really up the straight at Flemington.
“The goal is to get him back in winning form.
“The Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond form has been a little suspect – there hasn’t been a stack of winners come out of either race – but that is fairly par for the course with the Slipper in recent years.
“He is going good again and he is a fantastic type.
“He is bred in the purple and hopefully we can get him back in winning form this time in.”
Headwater is one of 11 horses that have been included in the Kensington Stakes field and he is set to take on a number of talented horses in the $120,000 race.
The Quarterback took out the Kensington Stakes last year and he is back to defend his title, while the Iconic and Yesterday’s Songs are also set to return to the races.
Bullpit is the only last start winner that is set to contest the Kensington Stakes following his win in the Tauto Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on January 16, but it could be Wild Rain that is taking the strongest form into the race.
Wild Rain was narrowly denied by The Quarterback in the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on November 5 and she finished second again in the Ballarat Magic Millions Stakes (1100m) on November 21 before she returned to winning form in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on December 5.
She was then sent to Queensland for the Magic Millions Sprint (1100m) and she finished a game second and she is sure to be suited by the drop back to 1000 metres in the Kensington Stakes.
Barbed, Hard Stride, The Monstar, Straturbo and Pink Perfection round out the 2016 Kensington Stakes field.