Four year old Keen Array is one of three horses from the Lindsay Park operation nominated for Saturday’s Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig also have the well performed Hashbeeh and new stable acquisition Rocket Commander among the eighteen nominations for the weight for age Bletchingly Stakes.
Keen Array will be stepping out for the first time for eight months after missing a place when eighth to Takedown in the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on November 26 last year.
Co-trainer David 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 on Saturday.”
Keen Array 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).
Tashbeeh has mixed form going into the Bletchingly Stakes and after winning first up in the Listed $120,000 Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on May 20 was well beaten when ninth of ten down the Flemington straight again in the Listed $150,000 All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) three weeks later.
Rising six year old mare Rocket Commander is the winner of seven of her forty-three starts and will be going around for the first time under the Lindsay Park Banner if she steps out on Saturday in the Bletchingly Stakes.