Races like the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) could be on the agenda for Abu Dhabi if he performs well in The Flemington Family Handicap (1200m) at Flemington tomorrow.
Abu Dhabi made his racing debut in January with a fourth place finish in the James Boag’s Premium Plate (1000m) at Morphettville Parks on January 24 and he returned to racing with an unlucky second in the Adelaide Produce Market Maiden (1100m) at the same venue on June 13 before he scored his maiden race win with an impressive performance in the Irish Race Day 29th August Handicap (1050m) at Morphettville on June 27.
Kennewell was impressed with the victory of Abu Dhabi and he told Racing Ahead that his plan was to always send the son of I Am Invincible to Melbourne for a race like The Flemington Family Handicap during the winter racing period.
“It was a solid performance,” Kennewell said of Abu Dhabi’s maiden race win.
“He travelled good throughout the run, came off their backs and ran home in the fastest sectionals of the day.
“It was a very impressive win.
“He is a horse that has progressed nicely through the grades and it was the right time to plan for Melbourne.
“We always wanted to get him there in winter at some stage and obviously it is not going to be any walk-over.”
Abu Dhabi will get his first look at the famous Flemington straight tomorrow and how he handles the testing 1200 metres will dictate whether he returns to the venue for races like the Danehill Stakes on September 12 and the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Victoria Derby Day.
“We want to find out for further out in the spring because he will basically go to the paddock and he is nowhere near his bottom, so he will go to the paddock for a quick freshen-up this weekend,” Kennewell said.
“If he measures up there is the likelihood that you will see him again in the spring.”
Abu Dhabi is currently available at 2015 The Flemington Family Handicap odds of $5.50 with Ladbrokes and has been a clear market mover in the past 24 hours after opening at a quote of $8 earlier in the week.
Kennewell has not had a Group 1 runner in Melbourne since Nite Rocker finished 11th behind Long John in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).