Aiming to have the three-year-old ready for a return in Saturday’s Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m), trainer Ken Keys is confident an elevated white blood cell count which ruined his chances of an early racing return will not have an effect on Rich Enuff’s Autumn Carnival campaign.
A standout performer for Keys over spring, Rich Enuff has not been seen at the races since finishing seventh after fading late in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1st.
Pleased with the work produced and form displayed by the son of Written Tycoon since his return to work, Keys said Rich Enuff’s inability to line up for the Australia Stakes may in fact work in favour of the colt later in the Autumn Carnival.
“We had aimed to probably start in the Australia Stakes but I’m not that concerned that we’re missing it,” Keys told AAP.
“The turnaround time (from his last run) is quite quick and in all honesty I would have liked to have given him a bit longer break.
“I guess we haven’t been in this situation with horses before and they’ve got to race, that’s their job.”
Finishing outside the places only once over his short six start career so far, Rich Enuff debuted to racing for third in the Friends Of Epworth Handicap (1000m) on March 29th before immediately returning to the paddock.
Keys’ decision to skip major autumn events and the Winter Carnival with Rich Enuff immediately paid dividends upon his racing return in spring, as the three-year-old comfortably won each of the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m), Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) before running a close second in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11th.
Yet to confirm a specific path for Rich Enuff through the Autumn Carnival, Keys hinted the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 21st may now figure as the first point of call ahead of his major target, the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 14th.
A trip to Sydney for The Championship and berth in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) will then be considered, based on early carnival success and form.