Trainer David Hayes has revealed talented sprinter Keen Array may be stretched out to a mile and beyond, when he returns to racing during the upcoming Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Keen Array has only finished outside the first three a handful of times through an impressive eleven start career; claiming four wins and a further three minors since his competitive debut in February last year.
Having returned to the paddock after something of a lacklustre three start preparation through the recent Autumn Carnival, Hayes told Racing Ahead the Lindsay Park team may look to extend the distances covered by the Bel Esprit gelding in competition through spring.
“He’s really great,” Hayes said.
“He’s only in early pre-season at the moment doing evens, but he had a fantastic spring last year.
“He fell short because we probably went a bit deep first-up in the Oakleigh Plate and he never bounced back after that, so we’ll take him conservatively.
“We think and have always thought he’s a miler but he sprinted to well we kept him sprinting, so he might be a horse we stretch out this preparation.”
Keen Array ran a credible fourth in the RI 2.y.o Inglis Premier on debut in 2015, but failed to make anything of an impact at Bendigo second-up and was immediately returned to the paddock.
Resuming in spring for a resounding seven length win in the Harveys Of Highton Maiden (1000m) before repeating the dose, this time by eight lengths in the Total Animal Supplies BM64 (1000m) on September 3rd, Keen Array arguably stamped himself as a serious contender when finishing second to Bassett in his city Saturday debut; the National Jockeys Trust Plate (1100m) on September 19th.
Returning to winning form in the William Hill Plate (1200m), the gelding out of Moorea made a successful transition to black type company with success in the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m), before ending his year with a particularly strong performance for second in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Failing to make anything of his run when fifteenth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up this year, Keen Array ran eighth in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and has not been seen at the races since running on for third in the Ascend Trophies Premium Plate (1200m) on March 24th.