After never finishing below fifth in ten career starts Rekindled Interest was certainly a good gelding but just how good wasn’t known.
While being competitive in all his runs race wins are what trainer Jim Conlan was after and he was willing to take steps to ensure that happened.
Those steps would be giving away a quest for Group 1’s and instead forging a path through lesser rated handicap events.
This spring was to be the ultimate proving ground for him and most notably the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
“Today was D-Day for him,” Conlan said.
He managed to forge a convincing victory in the race and Group 1’s are now well and truly back on the table, especially given he accounted for Cox Plate favourite Whobegotyou.
Naturally then the Cox Plate has become the new goal for Rekindled Interest who Conlan says benefited from being able to run his own race rather than being worried about what was happening around him.
“You can get caught up in the ‘there’s no pace in the race and all this’, but that is weight-for-age racing,” he said.
“You quite often get a race with no pace and it is the horse with the best turn of foot that will win it.
“This bloke has in the past shown us that he has that terrific turn of foot.”
Rekindled Interest will be set for one final tune up run before the Cox Plate when he contests the Turnbull Stakes.
“He’s right where he needs to be at the moment,” Conlan said.
“There is a slight thought that this might have been his last run going into the Cox Plate, but the timing is not right. He is ready and he’s very clean winded.”
Despite his third placed finish Whobegotyou has retained favouritism for the Cox Plate with trainer Mark Kavanagh saying his horse simply wasn’t given the opportunity to run his best race.
“If you have a short priced favourite you are going to get no favours from the other jockeys. Everyone needs an ounce of luck to win a race,” Kavanagh said.
“There was nowhere for him to go. The other blokes made sure they made it tough for him.”