Co-trainer Tom Dabernig believes that talented sprinter Keen Array has taken plenty of benefit from an extensive break, and is poised to lay a good account for himself in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley first-up on Saturday.
Keen Array experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence through a standout 2015 Spring Carnival campaign, but simply failed to come up through three autumn starts and was returned to the paddock after placing third in a Moonee Valley minor over 1200m on March 24th.
Dabernig said that the Lindsay Park team were at odds as to why the son of Bel Esprit failed to fire in autumn, but they are confident he is primed for a return to peak condition this time.
“His form last spring was outstanding,” Dabernig told Racing Ahead.
“If there was positives to come out of it (failed autumn campaign), he had a good, long spell and he seems to be working the place down. He’ got nice improvement in him with a long spring ahead.”
Keen Array has drawn barrier 12 for his run in Carlyon Stakes first-up, and Dabernig said that race tactics will be left in the hands of leading hoop Craig Williams.
“He’s drawn wide which is not too big a concern over 1000m at the valley because it’s a straight line. Certainly on his best form, he’d shake the life out of a race like that but you want to see him come back and do it.”
“I think we’ll leave it to Craig Williams but I think over 1000m you can’t hang about, you just have to hope he’ll begin well and is slotting in there.
“Hopefully he’s rolling into it with an uninterrupted run and he can finish it off strongly.”
Keen Array was unable to make much of an impact upon debuting to racing in early 2015, but resumed in August for consecutive race wins in a pair of minor Victorian sprints over 1000m respectively.
Placing second to Bassett in the National Jockeys Trust Plate (1100m) in September, Keen Array returned to winning form in the William Hill Plate (1200m) before taking out the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) and finishing second in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Ladbrokes Australia currently rates Keen Array an $8 chance in 2016 Carlyon Stakes betting markets.