New trainer Jarrod Austin is hopeful Keen Commander can begin their partnership on a winning note at Canterbury tomorrow.
Keen Commander will run in the $70,000 Hylands Kids Colours For Christmas Handicap after a seven month break.
The eight-year-old gelding was previously trained by Denise Mcgrath at Warwick Farm before being taken over by Austin, who was the stable foreman.
“I’ve had him for three or four months now,” Austin said.
“I’ve always been involved in horses. He’s certainly been the best of them.
“He’s been a great horse for the stable that’s for sure, he’s certainly a favourite.”
Austin took over training Keen Commander after Denise Magrath retired earlier in the year.
“She just needed a break for various reasons,” Austin said.
The new trainer is expecting big things from the Commands gelding when he takes his place at Canterbury tomorrow.
“He’s more forward this time than he has been his last couple of times so I expect him to run really well,” he said.
“(And) he loves the wet.”
Austin believes Keen Commander is over the many injuries that have plagued him throughout his successful career.
“He’s had a lot of problems,” Austin said.
“After The Galaxy run (in April) he had an operation to get a chip removed from his fetlock.
“(And) he’s always had joint problems.”
Austin is hoping Keen Commander can lead in tomorrow’s race, despite fellow front runner Tiger Tees being in the field.
“Ideally he’ll be about a length and a half in front but we’ll see,” he said.
“Tiger Tees is a worry for us.
“Hopefully they won’t burn each other out.”