Kencella failed to fire in three race starts during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he looks on track to return to his best form in the autumn after recording a dominant victory in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens this morning.
Kencella contested the fifth barrier trial of the morning over 900 metres and jumped to the lead quickly with Jimmy Cassidy in the saddle before increasing his lead on his rivals throughout the barrier trial to score a nine lengths victory from Gypsy Diamond and Mahara in a time of 52.8 seconds.
The Exceed And Excel gelding stamped himself as a sprinter to watch when he recorded three starts wins during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, including the Group 3 McCarten Stakes (1100m), and he was given a maiden opportunity at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29.
Kencella joined the Chris Waller stable before the start of his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he failed to fire in his three race starts for his new trainer; finishing ninth in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 23, sixth in the Alannah Hill Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on September 20 and fifth in the Listed City Tatts Club Lightning (1100m) at Royal Randwick on October 18.
Gypsy Diamond finished well behind Kencella in the barrier trial, but the promising mare still hit the line fairly to finish second under a tight hold.
The four-year-old took out the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and finished a close second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but she was unable to replicate that form in the spring and she was sent to the spelling paddock after she beat home just a single runner in the Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden is hoping that Gypsy Diamond can return to her best form in the autumn and the four-year-old is likely to follow a path to the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
Stablemate Mahara is also set to contest the Coolmore Classic and she performed well in the barrier trial without being tested.
Undefeated sprinter Deep Field was included in the acceptances for the barrier trial, but was removed from the entries by Team Hawkes.